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HISTORY 


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liERKi/ncR  County 

NEW  YORK 

ILLUSTRATED    WITH  PORTKAFTS  OF  MANY   OF 
ITS         "IZ^  V.s 


GEORGE  A.  HARDIN 

ASSISTKU    HV 

FRANK  H.  WILLARD 


SYRACUSE,  N.  Y.: 
D.  MASON  &  CO.,  Publishers. 
1893. 


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To  the  Citizens  of  Herkimer  County 


When  the  publishers,  in  1892,  declared  their  intention  to  publish 
another  history  of  Herkimer  County,  they  made  inquiry  as  to  the 
unbound  volumes  of  the  history  prepared  by  Judge  Benton,  and 
issued  in  1856.  Such  information  as  they  desired  was  furnished  them 
on  that  subject,  and  then  they  asked  if  consent  would  be  given  to  aid 
and  assist  in  supervising  their  proposed  publication. 

As  a  century  had  passed  since  the  organization  of  the  County,  and 
thirty- six  years  had  elapsed  since  the  publication  of  "  Benton's  His- 
tory,"  it  was  believed  that  many  events  not  noticed  in  that  work  could 
be  collected,  and  that,  with  the  multitude  of  events  transpiring  since 
that  time,  the  proposed  work  would  be  welcomed.  Therefore  consent 
was  given  to  aid  in  gathering  material;  in  advising  as  to  events  known; 
in  suggesting  sources  from  which  facts  could  be  obtained  worthy  of 
being  recorded. 

After  such  consent  was  given,  it  was  found  necessary  to  have  an 
immediate  assistant  to  look  after  details,  and  to  prepare  descriptions 
and  outlines  of  events  worthy  of  notice.  For  such  puipose  Mr. 
Frank  H.  Willard  was  mentioned  and  engaged  by  the  publishers,  and 
he  has  with  fidelity  performed  the  work  assigned  to  him. 

It  was  known  that  the  late  Samuel  Earl  had  collected  much  valuable 
information  concerning  early  events  and  written  many  articles  record- 
ing them.  An  application  was  suggested  and  made  to  his  son,  Robert 
Earl  2d,  and  to  his  brother.  Judge  Earl,  who  promptly  and  cheerfully 
gave  access  to  all  the  articles  written  and  information  gathered  by 
Mr.  S.  Earl,  and  the  same  have  been  valuable  aids  in  preparing  the 
following  pages. 


12  PREFACE. 

Valuable  information  has  also  been  furnished  by  W.  T.  Loomis,  Esq.; 
by  Mr.  William  G.  Milligan  and  manj'  others,  to  whom  grateful  ac- 
knowledgments are  due,  and  therefore  given. 

The  County  bears  a  patriot's  name,  and  it  is  hoped  that  the  reader 
may  find  in  these  pages  evidences  that  its  citizens  have  in  times  past 
and  passing,  honored  tlie  hero  of  the  battle  of  Oriskany. 

The  bench  and  bar,  as  well  as  many  distinguished  members  of  the 
legal  and  other  professions  who  have  had  their  origin  in  this  Count}', 
have  been  given  extended  notice. 

The  manufacturing  industries  developed  in  the  County  have  received, 
as  tliey  justlv  merit,  considerable  attention. 

The  portraits  found  in  the  work,  with  biographical  sketches  accom- 
panying them,  serve  to  illustrate  the  character  of  citizens  who  have 
had  their  homes  within  the  bounds  of  the  County,  and  it  is  believed 
they  will  furnish  interesting  features  of  the  work. 

The  publishers  have  given  painstaking  attention  to  every  detail  in 
the  mechanical  preparation  of  this  volume.  The  engravings  have  been 
carefully  executed  by  artists  of  well-known  ability,  and  the  letter-press, 
binding  and  gilding  are  in  excellent  style. 

Vigilant  eftbrts  have  been  made  to  trace  authoritatively  the  events 
narrated,  and  give  reliable  information  as  to  the  scenes  and  deeds 
which  have  given  the  County  a  worthy  position  in  the  Empire  State. 

To  its  citizens  the  work  is  submitted,  in  the  hope  that  it  will  meet 
with  their  approbation. 

Respectfully, 

George  A.  Hardin. 

Little  Falls,  N.  Y.,  May,  1893. 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  I. 

DESCRIPTIVE  OF  THE  COUNTY, 17 

CHAPTER  H. 

EARLY  SETTLEMENTS 27 

CHAPTER  in. 

THE  FRENCH  AND  INDIAN  WAR, 40 

CHAPTER  IV. 
THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD, 47 

CHAPTER  V. 

GROWTH  AND  PROGRESS 86 

CHAPTER  VI. 
THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD, 94 

CHAPTER  VH. 
HISTORY  OF  CHEESE  DAIRYING  IN  HERKIMER  COUNTY, 110 

CHAPTER  Vni. 
TEE  COURTS,  THE  BENCH  AND  THE  BAR  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY 131 


14  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  IX. 
THE  r^ERKTMER  COUNTY  MEDICAL  SOCIETY, 155 

CHAPTER  X. 
THE  TOWN  OK  G ERMA N  FLATS, 175 

CHAPTER  XI. 
THE  TOWN  OF  HERKIMER, 213 

CHAPTER  XII. 
THE  TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS,     242 

CHAPTER  XIII. 
THE  TOWN  OF  FAIRFIELD, 301 

CHAPTER  XIV. 
THE  TOWN  OF  SALISBURY, ........315 

CHAPTER  XV. 
>)   THE  TOWN  OF  MANHELM 328 

CHAPTER  XVI. 
THE  TOWN  OF  DANUBE 343 

CHAPTER  XVII. 
THE  TOWN  OF  STARK, 348 

CHAPTER  XVIII. 
THE  TOWN  OP  WARREN 354 


CONTENTS.  15 

CHAPTER  XIX. 

THE  TOWN  OF  COLUMBIA 361 

CHAPTER  XX. 

THE  TOWN  OF  WINFIELD 368 


CHAPTER  XXI. 
THE  TOWN  OF  LITCHFIELD 382 

CHAPTER  XXII. 
THE  TOWN  OF  FRANKFORT 387 

CHAPTER  XXIII. 
THE  TOWN  OF  SCHUVLER 397 

CHAPTER  XXIV. 

THE  TOWN  OF  NEWPORT 405 

CHAPTER  XXV. 
THE  TOWN  OF  NORWAY .412 

CHAPTER  XXVI. 

THE  TOWN  OF  RUSSIA 434 


CHAPTER  XXVII. 

THE  TOWN  OF  OHIO 


CHAPTER  XXVIII. 
THE  TOWN  OF  WILMURT 


16  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  XXIX. 
BIOGRAPHICAL 453 


PART  II, 

FA M I LY   SKETCH ES 1 

INDEX   251 

INDEX  TO  FAMILY  SKETCHES 267 


HISTORY 


HERKIMER  COUNTY. 


CHAPTER  I. 

DESCRIPTIVE   OF   THE   COUNTY. 

NEARLY  three-quarters  of  a  century  had  passed  after  the  first  ad- 
vent of  permanent  white  settlers  into  the  valley  of  the  upper  Mo- 
hawk river — a  period  made  historically  memorable  by  the  occurrence 
of  many  important  events  and  the  enactment  of  deeds  of  valor  and 
heroism — before  Herkimer  county  existed  as  a  subdivision  of  the  State 
of  New  York.  The  original  ten  counties  of  the  colony  were  created 
November  i,  1683,  and  named  Albany,  New  York,  Dutchess,  Kings, 
Orange,  Queens,  Richmond,  Suffolk,  Ulster,  and  Westchester  On 
March  11,  1772,  Montgomery  county  was  created,  under  the  name  of 
Tryon  (changed  in  1784),  and  embraced  nearly  the  whole  of  the  cen- 
tral and  western  part  of  the  State.  Herkimer  county  was  erected  from 
Montgomery  February  16,  1791,  and  received  its  name  in  honor  of  the 
distinguished  general,  Nicholas  Herkimer.  As  first  formed  the  county 
embraced  a  vast  extent  of  territory,  extending  from  its  eastern  boundary 
westward  to  the  eastern  boundary  of  Ontario  county,  exclusive  of  the 
territory  of  Otsego  and  Tioga  counties,  which  were  erected  at  the  same 
date  with  Herkimer.  The  boundaries  of  the  county  as  originally  given 
were  as  follows  ;   All  the  territory  bounded  north  by  Lake  Ontario,  the 


18 


HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 


river  St.  Lawrence,  and  tlie  north  bounds  of  the  State  ;  easterly  by  the 
counties  of  Clinton,  Washington  and  Saratoga,  as  they  then  were  ;  south 
eriy  by  the  counties  of  Montgomery,  Otsego  and  Tioga.  From  this 
large  tract  of  country  Onondaga  county  was  set  ofif  in  1794  ;  Oneida  in 
1798  ;  Chenango,  from  Herkimer  and  Tioga,  in  1798  ;  and  these  counties 
have  been  variously  subdivided  at  later  dates.  In  18 16  parts  of  the  towns 
of  Richfield  and  Flainfield,  in  Otsego  county,  were  taken,  with  a  part 
of  Litchfield,  Herkimer  county,  to  form  the  present  town  of  Winfield. 
(See  chapter  5  of  the  Laws  of  1817,  and  chapter  228  of  Lawsof  1816.) 
In  1817  the  towns  of  Salisbury  and  Manheim,  and  all  that  part  of  Min- 
den  (Montgomery  county)  now  comprised  in  Danube  and  Stark,  were 
annexed  to  Herkimer  county.  (See  chapter  184  of  Laws  of  18 17.) 
This  county  as  it  now  exists  covers  an  area  of  1,370  square  miles,  and 
is  bounded  on  the  north  by  St.  Lawrence  county  ;  on  the  east  by  Ham- 
ilton, Fulton  and  Montgomery  counties;  on  the  south  by  Otsego  coun- 
ty ;  and  on  the  west  by  Oneida  and  Lewis  counties. 

The  present  county  comprises  within  its  limits  the  following  tracts 
and  parts  of  tracts  of  land  granted  by  tlie  crown  before  the  Revolution, 
and  by  the  State  since  the  treaty  of  1783  : 


NAMES  OF  PATENTS  OR  TRACTS. 


Adgate's  Tract, '-.. 
Bayard's  Patent,'.. 


Brown's   (John)  Tract,*- 


Cosby's   Manor,  ' ._ 

Colden's  (A. '  Patent 

Frank  (Conrad)  &  Go's  Patent,. 

Fall-Hill  Patent. -- 

Glen's  Purchase 

Hommedieu's  (I/)  Patent, 

Henderson's  Patent," 

Hasenclever's  Patent, 

Johnson's  (Guy)  Patent, 

Jersey  field  Patent," 

Kass's  Patent, 

Lindsay's  Patent, 

Livingston's  Patent,' 

Lispenard's  Patent,' 

Lansinjr's  Patent,' .,. 

McComb's  Purchase.' 

McNeil's    Patent, 

Match in's  Patent,' _. 

Nobleborough  Tract,'. _ 

Moose  River  Tract," 


NAMES  OF  ORIGINAL  PATENTEES. 


Petrie's  Purchase,.- i   1740 

Royal  Grant | 


43,907  j  Mathew  Adgate. 

50,000  ;  William  Bayard,  Alexander  Ellis,  and  fifty-three 
j         others. 

I  A  part  of  i,Q2o,ooo  acres  granted  to  Alexander  Ma- 

I         comb. 

g,4Do    Johan  Joost  Petri,  and  ninety-three  others. 

3,000    Cadwallader  Colden,  the  younger,  and  Coenradt 

I         Ryghtmeyer. 
22,000    Joseph  WoiTell,  William  Cosby,  and  nine  others. 

4,000    Alexander  Colden.  and  three  others. 

5,000    Coenradt  Frank,  and  five  others. 

2,324  I  Johan  Joost  and  Hendrik  Herchkeimer. 
25,076 

4,000  I  Kzra  L'Hommedieu  and  Nathaniel  Piatt. 

6,000    James  Henderson,  and  two  others 
18.000  I  Peter  Hasenclever,  and  seventeen  others. 

2,000    Guy  Johnson.     Forfeited  by  attainder  of  G.  J. 
94,000    Henry  Glen,  Alexander  Ellis,  and  ninety-two  others 

1,100    Johan  J[urgh  Kass.  and  his  children. 

3,000  I  John  Lindsay  and  Philip  Livingston. 
20,000  I  Philip  Livingston,  and  nineteen  others. 

9,200  ■  Leonard  Lispenard,  and  thirteen  others. 

6,000    Jacob  and  Abraham  Lansing,  and  Jacob  GleD. 

j  Alexander  Macomb. 

4,000  I  John  McNeil,  and  three  others. 

1,600    Thomas  Matchin. 
40,960  !  Arthur  Noble. 

i  Owned  by  the  State, except  13,080  gfranted  ini847  to 

j  Anson  Blake. 

6,000    John  Tost  Petrie,  and  two  others. 

!  Sir  William  Johnson. 


DESCRIPTIVE  OF  THE  COUNTY. 


t 

2 

o3 

NAMES  OF  PATENTS  OR  TRACTS. 

08 

NAMES  OF  ORIGINAL  PATENTEES. 

Henry  Remsen  and  three  others. 

Snell  and  Timmerman'sPatent-. 

3,600 

Jacob  Timbernian  and  Johan  Joost  Schnell. 

1755 

34,000 

Nicholas  Herchkeimer,  and  fifteen  others. 

Schuyler's  Patent ..   

Abraham  Lynsen,  and  twenty-one  others. 

Totten  and  Crossfield  Patent  •-. 

Vrooraan's  Patent,* 

9,760 

Isaac  Vrooman. 

do                --- 

T7R6 

Isaac  \  rooman. 

1790 

«3 

Isaac  Vrooman 

Van  Driesen,  Peter,.  .  _ 

Petrus  Van  Driessen. 

Van  Driesen,  John ,.  .. 

1786 

428 

Johan  Van  Driessen. 

Van  Home's  Patent,'.. 

8,000 

Abraham  \  an  Home,  and  three  others. 

Vaughn's   Patent 

1770 

8,000 

John  Vaughn,  and  seven  others. 

Watson's  James  Tract,* . 

A  part  of  Macomb's  purchase. 

Winne's  Patent, 

2  000 

Peter  Winne. 

Walton's  Patent,  -. 

,7fiR 

12  000 

William  Walton,  jr.,  and  eleven  others. 

Young's  Patent,* 

1752 

14,000 

Theobald  Young,  and  ten  others. 

This  mark  (')  denotes  that  the  lands  indicated  are  partly  in  Herkimer,  and  partly  in  other 
counties. 

The  foregoing  table  indicates  that  the  title  to  most  of  the  lands  in  the 
county  was  granted  by  the  crown  before  the  beginning  of  the  Revolution, 
and  those  grants  were  recognized  as  valid  by  the  constitution  of  1777; 
but  at  the  same  time  the  State  was  left  free  to  protect  itself  against 
treason  or  hostility  by  any  person  holding  under  the  grants,  as  hereafter 
shown. 

In  explanation  of  the  table  the  following  details  are  of  interest  : 

The  original  evidence  of  ownership  of  the  Burnetffield  lots  were  certificates  given 
the  grantees  in  the  winter  and  spring  of  1723.  The  next  transaction  in  land  in  the 
county  was  the  purchase  of  the  Kast  patent  in  1724  by  the  family  of  that  name,  who 
were  among  the  Burnetsfield  patentees.  John  Jurgh  Kast  and  his  son  of  the  same  name 
had  each  received  a  thirty-acre  lowland  and  a  seventy-acre  upland  lot,  and  the  family 
now  bought  a  tract  of  1,100  acres  on  the  river  in  Schuyler,  half  way  between  East  and 
West  Schuyler  villages.  Next  came  Lindsey's  purchase,  covermg  3,000  acres  in  oblong 
form,  beginning  on  the  south  bank  of  the  Mohawk,  a  mile  and  a  half  below  Little  Falls, 
taken  by  John  Lindsey  and  Philip  Livingston  in  1730  ;  then  Van  Home's,  made  in  the 
following  year  by  Abraham  Van  Home  and  three  others,  the  tract  consisting  of  8,000 
acres  about  the  Canajoharie  castle. 

The  next  tract  taken  up  was  the  famous  Cosby 's  Manor,  granted  in  1734.  The  part 
of  this  tract  within  Herkimer  county  formed  a  block  about  seven  miles  square,  beginning 
just  west  of  Frankfort  village  (about  two-thirds  lying  south  of.  the  river),  and  surround- 
ing East's  patent.  The  chief  patentee  was  Governor  William  Cosby.  The  property 
passed  into  the  hands  of  Lady  Grace  Cosby,  and  was  the  subject  of  a  correspondence 
between  herself,  her  agent,  Sir  William  Johnson,  and  Oliver  De  Lancey,  the  latter  of 
whom  in  the  summer  of  1762  bought  the  tract  for  himself  and  Janie.^  Jauncey,  Peter 
Remsen  and  Goldsbrow  Banyar,  paying  £6,000  currency. 

Next  to  Cosby 's  Manor  in  date  of  granting  was  the  tract  of  1,000  acres  on  the 
north  bank  of  the  river,  just  east  of  Little  Falls,  purchased  by  Rev.  Peter  Van  Driesen 


20  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

in  1737.  Ill  the  next  year  Cadwallader  Golden  took  3,000  acres  in  a  strip  a  mile  and  a 
quarter  wide  running  south  from  Van  Home's  patent  to  Otsquago  Creek. 

One  of  the  most  important  of  the  earliest  patents  was  Glen's  purchase,  so  called  from 
Jacob  Glen,  the  patentee.  The  tract  of  land  involved  consisted  of  25,076  acres,  occupy- 
ing, in  general  terms,  the  eastern  part  of  the  town  of  Herkimer,  the  southern  half  of 
Fairfield,  Little  Falls  north  of  the  river,  and  the  western  part  of  Manheim.  The  Indian 
title  was  extinguished  in  1734. 

In  1738  five  of  the  lots  were  granted  to  Patrick  McClaughry  and  Andrew  McDowell, 
and  eight  to  James  De  Lancey,  John  Lindsay,  and  Abraham  Glen.  In  1739  three  were 
granted  to  Lendert  Helmer,  two  to  Jacob  Glen,  three  to  Archibald  Kennedy,  three  to 
John  Schuyler,  jr.,  three  to  Arent  Brant,  and  three  to  Philip  Schuyler.  In  1761  three 
were  granted  to  Samuel  Auchunity,  three  to  William  Mitchell,  and  three  to  William 
Ogilvie. 

Henderson's  patent  of  6,000  acres  was  granted  to  James  Henderson,  his  son  of  the 
same  name,  and  John  Kelly,  1739.  Most  of  it  is  embraced  in  the  town  of  Warren.  In 
1741  Peter  Wiime  bought  2,000  acres  on  both  sides  of  West  Canada  Creek;  except 
where  bounded  by  the  Burnetsfield  patent  on  the  south,  this  tract  was  surrounded  by 
the  Hasenclever  patent.  The  southern  part  of  the  town  of  Warren  is  embraced  in 
Young's  patent,  granted  in  1752  to  Theobald,  Adam,  Frederick,  and  Andries  Young, 
and  seven  others.  In  the  same  year  Joban  Joo.st  and  Hendrick  Herkemer  bought  2,324 
acres  on  the  south  bank  of  the  river,  extending  from  Lindsay's  purchase  to  the  eastern- 
most Burnetsfield  lots.  Lansingh's  patent  was  granted  in  the  following  year  to  Jacob 
and  Abraham  Lansingh  and  Jacob  Glen.  The  part  of  it  in  Herkimer  county  lay  in  the 
south  of  Danube  and  the  northwestern  part  of  Stark. 

A  strip  along  the  southeastern  side  of  Winfield  was  part  of  a  tract  of  43,000  acres 
granted  in  1755  to  Daniel  Schuyler  and  twenty-one  others  and  called  Schuyler's  patent. 
Snell  and  Timmerman's  tract,  3,000  acres,  in  the  southern  part  of  Manheim,  was  granted 
in  the  same  year.  In  1755  were  also  granted  Staley's  first  and  second  tracts,  so  called, 
containing  34,000  acres.  The  patentees  were  Rudolph  Staley,  Johan  Joost  Herkimer, 
jr.,  Nicholas  Herkimer  and  fifteen  others.  The  first  tract,  together  with  the  river,  sur- 
rounded all  the  Burnetsfield  lots  south  of  the  Mohawk,  except  the  easternmost  five,  and 
extended  south  far  enough  to  take  in  most  of  the  present  towq  of  German  Flats.  The 
second  tract  included  almost  all  of  the  town  of  Columbia.  Between  the  two,  in  narrow 
form,  lay  Staley's  third  tract,  also  called  Frank's  patent,  from  Conrad  and  Frederick 
Frank,  who  were  interested  in  it. 

In  17C1  John  McNeil  and  three  others  bought  wliat  has  been  called  McNeil's  patent, 
in  the  southern  part  of  Stark.  In  this  year,  too,  Alexander  Colden,  William  Willett, 
Stephen  De  Lancey  and  Christopher  Blundell  procured  the  patent  called  by  the  name 
of  the  first  of  these  gentlemen.  It  consisted  of  4,000  acres,  mostly  on  the  north  side  of 
the  river,  filling  the  space  between  Burnetsfield  and  Cosby's  Manor ;  eight  small  lots 
south  of  the  river  embraced  the  site  of  Frankfort  village. 

Livingston's  patent,  part  of  which  occupied  the  southeastern  corner  of  Stark,  was 
granted  in  1702.  In  1765  Guy  Johnson  bought  2,000  acres,  now  about  equally  divided 
between  the  southeastern  corner  of  German  Flats  and  the  adjoining  portion  of  Little 


DESCRIPTIVE  OF  THE  COUNTY.  21 

Falls.  Walton's  patent  ran  along  the  western  county  line  from  Cosby's  Manor  to  Wes-t 
Canada  Creek,  with  a  breadth  of  two  and  a  half  miles  ;  it  was  granted  in  1768.  In  the 
following  year  Peter  Hasenclever  and  seventeen  others  bought  what  has  since  been 
called  Hasenclever's  patent.  It  consisted  of  18,000  acres,  all  but  a  small  portion  of 
which  was  bounded  by  Cosby's  Manor,  Walton's  and  Alexander  Colden  patents  and 
West  Canada  Creek. 

The  Royal  Grant  (so  called)  comprised  a  large  tract  of  land  lying  between  the  Can- 
ada Creeks  which  was  acquired  by  Sir  William  Johnson  from  his  Indian  friends  in  1760, 
and  for  which  he  received  a  patent  from  the  government  in  1769.  The  tiact  embraced 
about  66,000  acres  and  lay  back  of  the  lands  previously  granted. 

In  1770  8,000  acres,  comprising  most  of  Little  Falls  south  of  the  river  and  the  west- 
ern corner  of  Danube,  were  granted  to  John  Vaughn  and  seven  others,  forming  the 
Vaughn  patent.  In  the  same  year  the  Jersey  field  patent  was  made  to  ninety-four  per- 
sons, 1,000  acres  to  each,  bounded  by  the  Royal  Grant,  West  Canada  Creek,  the  line 
which  forms  the  northern  boundary  of  Salisbury,  and  the  eastern  county  line.  Bayard's 
patent,  purchased  by  two  brothers  of  that  name  and  fifty-three  others  in  1774,  embraced 
most  of  the  towns  of  Litchfield  and  Winfield.  In  178G  Isaac  Vrooman  bought  4,000 
acres,  and  in  1790,  10,193  acres  in  a  narrow  strip  extending  across  Danube  and 
parts  of  Manheim  and  Stark.  The  other  428  acres  of  Manheim  were  taken  in  1786  by 
John  Van  Driesen.  In  the  same  year  Thomas  Matchin  bought  1,600  acres  on  the  north 
side  of  West  Canada  Creek  in  the  town  of  Russia.  The  Totten  and  Crossfield  purchase 
was  made  in  that  year,  and  included  25,200  acres,  part  of  which  was  in  the  northeast- 
ern corner  of  the  county.  In  the  same  year  Ezra  L'Hommedieu  and  Nathaniel  Piatt 
bought  the  4,000  acres  remaining  in  the  northwest  part  of  Stark  and  the  southern  part 
of  Little  Falls.  In  1787  theNobleborough  tract  was  patented  to  Arthur  Noble  and 
comprised  41,000  acres,  lying  at  the  angle  in  the  southeastern  line  of  Wilmurt ;  and  in 
the  same  year  48,000  acres  southwest  of  the  above,  bounded  on  the  south  by  West 
Canada  Creek,  were  purchased  by  Henry  Remsen  and  three  others.  In  1792  the  State 
granted  to  Alexander  Macomb  an  immense  tract  of  land  in  the  great  northern  wilder- 
ness at  a  nominal  price,  of  which  the  John  Brown  and  the  Watson  tracts  are  parts. 
The  Guy  Johnson  tract  was  conveyed  by  Jeremiah  Van  Rensselaer,  Jacob  G.  Klock, 
and  Henry  Oathoudt,  commissioners  of  forfeitures  of  the  western  district  of  New  York 
to  Benjamin  Tallmadge,  major  in  the  array  of  the  United  States,  June  7,  1784,  and  by 
Tallmadge  to  Caleb  Brewster,  July  9,  1794.  Matthew  Adgate  in  1798  patented  4.3,907 
acres  now  in  the  southern  part  of  Wilmurt.  The  latest  patent  in  the  county  was  for 
13,080  acres  of  the  Moose  River  tract  granted  to  Anson  Blake  in  1847. 

The  titles  of  the  Indians  to  lands  in  the  Mohawk  valley,  as  well  as  those  of  the  white 
settlers  who  adhered  to  the  crown  in  the  Revolution,  were  destroyed  by  that  event, 
through  the  Attainder  Act  of  1770. 

The  Attainder  Act  of  1779  embraced  fifty-nine  persons,  three  of  whom 
were  married  females,  and  they  were  also  declared  convicted  and  at- 
tainted with  their  husbands  of  offenses  against  the  act.  This  manner  of 
procedure  was  warranted  by  the  fact  that  many  women  were  in  posses- 


DESCRIPTIVE  OF  THE  COUNTY.  23 

sionin  their  own  right  of  large  tracts  of  land.  The  Legislature  passed  an 
act  on  the  I2th  of  May,  1784,  directing  the  prompt  sale  of  confiscated 
and  forfeited  estates,  requiring  the  proceeds  to  be  applied  to  the  sinking 
and  discharging  of  public  securities  created  for  prosecuting  the  war. 
This  was  the  first  step  taken  to  dispose  of  these  estates,  and  the  functions 
of  the  commissioners  ceased  in  1788.  The  act  of  1784  designated  the 
kind  of  money  and  certificates  or  bills  of  credit  issued  by  the  State,  which 
might  be  received  in  payment  for  lands  sold.  In  the  course  of  the  trans- 
actions thus  effected  there  ensued  a  heavy  depreciation  of  public  securi- 
ties, which  was  severely  felt  by  the  people  who  were  forced  to  accept 
them  from  the  government.  The  purchasers  of  the  public  domain,  how- 
ever, were  in  no  respect  losers  by  their  operations.  Having  purchased 
these  securities  at  the  current  specie  market  price,  or  at  the  sum  fixed 
by  the  continental  scale  of  depreciation,  they  exchanged  them  in  most  in- 
stances for  some  of  the  best  lands  in  the  State,  at  a  price  per  acre  a  little 
more  than  nominal,  and  thus  accumulated  large  fortunes  for  themselves 
and  their  descendants.  The  titles  were,  moreover,  guaranteed  in  all  re- 
spects by  the  State. 

The  commissioners  of  forfeiture  of  the  western  district  of  the  State  sold 
and  deeded  between  September,  1784,  and  September,  1788,  ninety- 
three  lots  in  the  first  allotment  of  the  Royal  Grant;  ninety-one  in  the 
second  allotment;  130  in  the  third  allotment;  and  137  in  the  fourth 
allotment.  This  proceeding  on  the  part  of  the  State  was  founded  on  the 
attainder  of  Sir  John  Johnson,  by  the  act  of  1779. 

The  map  made  by  Lawrence  Vrooman  in  1797,  and  reproduced  here- 
with, shows  that  Sir  William  Johnson  gave  by  his  will  to  six  of  his 
natural  children  by  Molly  Brant  (or  Brandt),  15,000  acres  of  this  grant 
as  follows:  To  Margaret,  2,000  acres;  George,  3,000;  Mary,  2,000; 
Susan,  3,000;  Ann,  3,000;  Brandt,  1,000;  and  to  William  1,000.  The 
portion  of  this  tract  thus  devised  adjoins  the  East  Canada  Creek,  and  is 
in  the  present  towns  of  Manheim  and  Salisbury.  The  lots  as  numbered 
on  the  map  are:  166  in  the  first  allotment ;  102  in  the  second  ;  136  in 
the  third;  and  143  in  the  fourth.  These  are  the  highest  numbers,  but 
in  several  instances  intervening  numbers  below  are  not  found.  ^ 

'  The  late  Samuel  Earl  left  among  his  historical  memoranda  the  following  :  "  As  Mary  Brant  and 
her  eight  children,  Peter,  Elizabeth,  Magdalene,  Margaret.  George,  Mary,  Susanna,  and  Anne,  and 
young  Brant  Kaghnectayo  of  Canajoharie,  and  William  Tagawinente  of  C^najoharie,  were    inca- 


24  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

A  specific  half  of  eighteen  lots  in  Jerseyfield  patent  was  also  sold 
and  deeded  by  the  commissioners  of  forfeitures,  within  the  periods  above 
mentioned.  The  original  patentees  of  this  large  tract  were  mostly  of 
the  Dutch  extraction,  not  German,  and  residents  in  Albany,  Schenecta- 
dy and  the  lower  Mohawk  valley.  None  of  these  names  appears  in  the 
Attainder  Act  of  1 779.  Some  party,  known  to  be  obnoxious  to  the  pen- 
alties of  the  act,  must  have  been  proceeded  against  by  indictment  for 
treason  against  the  State,  and  the  lands  declared  forfeited  on  inquisition 
found.  The  whole  of  five  lots  and  a  specified  half  of  four  others  in  Liv- 
ingston's patent  were  also  sold  and  conveyed  by  the  commissioners. 
Peter  De  Bois,  who  was  attainted  by  the  act  of  October  22,  1779,  was 
one  of  the  patentees  of  this  grant,  and  the  sales  probably  covered  his 
interest,  or  what  remained  of  it,  in  the  whole  patent. 

A  part  of  Glen's  purchase  seems  to  have  been  owned  by  some  one  ob- 
noxious to  the  law  of  attainder.  James  De  Lancey  was  one  of  the  three 
joint  patentees  of  several  lots  in  this  purchase.  He  was  attainted  by  the 
act  of  1779.  (See  chapter  25,  of  the  Laws  of  1779).  Six  small  lots  in  that 
tract  were  sold  and  deeded  for  ;^i,095.  New  York  currency,  on  the  27th 
of  August,  1788,  to  replenish  an  exhausted  treasury.  James  Caldwell 
purchased  five  of  the  lots  and  Michael  Myers  one  of  them.  Johan  Jurgh 
Kast's  little  patent  of  1,100  acres  in  Schuyler  contributed  $500  to  pay 
war  expenses.  One  lot  in  that  patent  seems  to  have  been  sold  to  make 
compensation  for  treason  against  the  State.  "  Surely  none  of  the  de- 
scendants of  that  sturdy  old  Palatine  could  have  been  recreant  to  his 
country  and  a  traitor  to  humanity."  ^ 

A  portion  of  the  Bayard  patent  is  held  under  title  from  the  commission- 
ers of  forfeitures,  two  of  the  Bayards  having  been  attainted  by  the  act  of 
of  1779.  In  regard  to  the  Johan  Joost  Herkimer  property,  Judge  Ben- 
ton wrote  as  follows: 

Diligent  search  and  examination  has  been  made  in  the  proper  quarter  to  find  some 
evidence  of  grants  under  the  authority  of  the  State,  of  the  Johan  Joost  Herkimer  prop- 

pable  of  taking' and  holding  lands  by  reason  of  their  being  Indians,  the  several  devises  in  the  will 
of  Sir  William  Johnson  lo  them  were  inoperative  and  void,  and  the  lands  and  estate  devised  to 
them  respectively  upon  the  death  of  Sir  William,  descended  to  and  became  vested  in  Sir  John 
Johnson  as  heir  at  law,  and  by  his  attainder  became  vested  in  the  State  as  a  portion  of  his  inherit- 
ance. No  tribunal  competent  to  determine  the  law  as  it  was  at  the  death  of  Sir  William  or  the 
attainder  of  Sir  John  has  decided  anything  contrary  to  or  in  conflict  with  the  foregoing  prop- 
osition." 

2  Benton's  "  History  of  Herkimer  County." 


DESCRIPTIVE  OF  THE  COUNTY.  25 

erty,  but  without  success.  Some  part  of  the  Herkimer  property  came  into  the  hands 
of  Alexander  Ellice,  soon  after  the  Revolution.  The  preci.se  time  has  not  been  ascer- 
tained by  the  writer,  nor  has  he  been  able  to  lay  his  hand  upon  any  papers  showing 
the  title  to  have  come  from  the  State.  This,  however,  must  be  so,  for  Mr.  Ellice,  be- 
ing a  British  subject,  would  not  have  been  allowed  to  hold  forfeited  lands  except  by  a 
grant  from  the  State.' 

In  respect  to  that  part  of  the  Royal  Grant,  devised  by  Sir  William  to  his  Indian 
children,  the  sale  by  the  commissioners  could  not  be  sustained,  and  consequently  was 
abandoned  in  regard  to  some  of  them,  who  had  not  committed  any  overt  act  of  treason 
or  offense  against  the  statute.  One  of  these  children,  however,  did  bear  arms  against 
the  colonies,  and  may  have  been  proceeded  against  under  the  Attainder  Act,  by  indict- 
ment. The  present  titles  of  a  portion  of  the  grant  are  therefore  derived  from  Sir  \\  illiam's 
will,  through  his  Indian  children,  but  all  the  remainder,  which  passed  to  Sir  John  John- 
son, as  heirs  at  law,  is  held  under  the  State  by  virtue  of  his  attainder. 

Natural  Characteristics. — Tlie  surface  of  Herkimer  county  may  be 
called  a  hilly  upland,  with  a  series  of  ridges  extending  in  a  generally  north 
and  south  direction.  The  beautiful  Mohawk  River  flows  easterly  across 
the  southerly  part  of  the  county,  through  a  valley  that  is  broad  from  its 
westerly  end  to  near  Little  Falls  at  the  easterly  side  of  the  county, 
where  the  stream  breaks  through  a  mountainous  ridge,  the  naked  rocks 
rising  on  either  side  from  500  to  600  feet.  From  this  point  to  the  eastern 
boundary  of  the  county  the  river  flows  through  a  valley  bordered  by 
high  and  precipitous  hills.  The  East  Canada  Creek  rises  in  Hamilton 
county,  flows  southward  and  empties  into  the  Mohawk;  it  forms  the 
eastern  boundary  of  the  county  from  the  Mohawk  to  the  northeast  cor- 
ner of  the  Royal  Grant.  The  West  Canada  Creek  rises  in  the  northern 
part  of  the  county  and  in  Hamilton  county,  flows  southwesterly  and 
discharges  into  the  Mohawk  near  the  village  of  Herkimer ;  part  of  it 
forms  the  boundary  between  Herkimer  and  Oneida  counties.  The 
Moose,  Black  and  Beaver  Rivers,  which  flow  northward  to  Lake  Onta- 
rio, have  their  sources  in  the  northerly  part  of  the  county,  where  numer- 
ous lakes  and  ponds  of  pure  water  are  found,  many  of  them  still  in  the 
forest  fastnesses  of  a  large  region  that  has  been  left  almost  wholly  in 
its  native  state,  the  surface  and  soil  rendering  it  of  little  value  for  culti- 
vation. 

The  geological  features  of  the  county  are  of  considerable  interest. 
The  portion  of  the  territory  lying  north  of  a  line  extending   west  from 

'  For  further  reference  to  titled  and  leases  from  Ellice.  see  subsequent  history  and  maps  ot  Little 
Falls. 


26  UISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Brockett's  Bridge  (now  Dolgeville)  is  covered  with  primary  rocks — 
granite,  gneiss,  feldspar,  and  hornblende.  The  same  formation  out- 
crops also  at  Little  F"alls.  Rising  successively  above  the  primary  are 
the  Trenton  limestone,  appearing  in  Norway  and  Russia,  the  Utica 
slate,  appearing  upon  the  summit  of  all  the  hills  immediately  north  of 
the  Mohawk ;  the  Frankfort  slate  appearing  immediately  south  of  the 
river;  the  Oneida  conglomerate  and  Clinton  group,  extending  in  a  belt 
through  near  the  center  of  the  south  half  of  the  county;  the  Onondaga 
salt  group,  waterlime,  Onondaga  and  corniferous  limestones,  appearing 
in  thin  layers  next  south  ;  and  the  Marcellus  shales  and  limestones  of 
the  Helderberg  range,  covering  the  summits  of  the  southern  hills.  These 
rocks  yield  an  abundance  of  lime,  waterlime,  and  building  material,  and 
are  extensively  quarried.  Useful  minerals  are  few  in  number,  among 
them  being  beautiful  crystals  of  quartz.  The  soil  of  the  county  is 
diversified,  comprising  sandy  and  argillaceous  loams,  based  on  limestone, 
sandstone  and  primitive  granite  gneiss;  calcareous  loam,  sandy  and 
clay  loam.  Rich  alluvial  flats  are  found  in  the  Mohawk  valley,  that  are 
as  productive,  perhaps,  as  any  lands  in  the  State.  The  soil  north  of  the 
Royal  Grant  is  light  and  sandy,  better  adapted  to  grazing  than  to  tillage. 

In  the  early  history  of  the  count)'  the  lands  were  tilled  and  the  pro- 
ductions comprised  wheat,  corn,  rye,  barley,  peas,  bea'ns,  oats,  hay  and 
potatoes.  Wheat  and  barley  constituted  the  chief  articles  of  export  to 
the  Albany  market.  With  the  opening  of  the  Erie  canal  in  1825,  the 
heavy  grain  producing  section  in  the  western  part  of  the  State  became 
a  rival  against  which  the  Mohawk  valley  could  not  successfully  contend. 
Between  1820  and  1830  the  prospects  of  the  Herkimer  county  agricul- 
turist were  not  encouraging.  Insects  destroyed  the  wheat  year  after 
year,  and  it  has  been  stated  that  in  1820,  "  if  all  the  personal  or  mova- 
ble property  in  the  county  had  been  sold  at  a  fair  appraisal,  it  would 
not  have  produced  sufficient  means  to  pay  the  domestic  debt  of  the 
county,  and  probably  not  more  than  half  of  it.  After  the  opening  of 
the  canal,  the  attention  of  the  community  was  gradually  turned  toward 
grazing  and  the  dairy,  and  for  many  years  past  the  latter  interest  has 
given  the  county  a  national  reputation.  The  dairy  products  of  the 
county  will  be  further  alluded  to  in  subsequent  town  histories. 

The  lumber  interest  of  the  county  was  extensive  in  former  years,  and 
is  still  carried  on  with  success  in  its  northern  parts. 


EARLY  SETTLEMENT.  27 

CHAPTER  II. 

EARLY    SETTLEMENT. 

ONE  hundred  and  seventy  years  ago,  when  the  sturdy  German  emi- 
grants, fleeing  from  their  native  country  on  the  Rhine  to  escape  a 
cruel  vassalage,  planted  themselves  in  the  wilderness  within  and  around  the 
territory  of  which  this  volume  treats,  they  found  it  occupied  by  one  of 
the  Six  Nations  of  Iroquois  Indians — the  Mohawks.  These  nations 
(exclusive  of  the  Tuscaroras,  who  were  practically  amalgamated  with 
the  Oneidas)  were  established  across  the  territory  of  the  State  of  New 
York,  beginning  with  the  Mohawks  on  the  east,  with  the  Oneidas,  On- 
ondagas,  Cayugas  and  Senecas  next  in  the  order  named.  Their  central 
council  fire  was  with  the  Onondagas.  But  limited  as  was  this  country 
wherein  these  nations  had  their  permanent  abiding  place,  their  unexam- 
pled and  reckless  bravery  in  war;  their  statesmanship  as  demonstrated 
in  the  system  of  government  devised  by  them  ;  their  indomitable  per- 
severance and  unyielding  persistence  in  extending  their  power,  gave 
them  practical  domination  over  the  greater  part  of  the  continent  and 
earned  for  them  from  one  of  their  admirers  the  title  of  "  The  Romans  of 
the  New  World."  The  records  of  the  deeds  of  the  Iroquois  Indians  are 
found  upon  thousands  of  pages  in  words  from  gifted  pens,  while  their 
personal  characteristics  and  civil  and  domestic  history  have  no  less 
faithful  chroniclers.  This  fact  renders  it  wholly  unnecessary  to  attempt 
in  these  pages  more  than  a  simple  statement  of  their  occupancy  of  the 
soil,  to  be  followed  with  the  history  of  their  relations  with  the  white 
settlers  of  the  county. 

Through  the  settlement  of  the  French  in  what  is  now  Canada  early 
in  the  sixteenth  century;  the  nearly  simultaneous  establishment  of  the 
Dutch  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Hudson  river,  and  the  subsequent  domina- 
tion of  the  English,  a  long  series  of  bloody  wars  was  inaugurated,  which 
did  not  cease  until  the  final  extinction  of  French  power  in  1763.  There 
was  strife  from  the  beginning  to  gain  the  fealty  of  the  Indians.      They 


28  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

were  not  onl\'  extremely  useful  as  fighters  in  the  service  of  either  power, 
but  their  friendship  was  equally  desirable  for  purposes  of  trade.  Of 
course  they  were  regularly  swindled  by  either  party  toward  which  they 
leaned.  As  far  as  the  Mohawks  were  concerned  they  were  always  on 
terms  of  amity  with  the  Knglish.  The  influence  of  Sir  William  John- 
son over  them  was  boundless,  and  at  his  death  the)'  transferred  their 
affections  to  his  family,  a  fact  which  was  the  cause  of  untold  woe  to 
the  colonists  in  after  years.^  King  Hendrick,  as  he  was  called,  was  a 
celebrated  Mohawk  chief  who  was  at  the  height  of  his  power  when  the 
Mohawk  valley  was  opened  for  settlement.  He  was  an  intimate 
friend  of  Sir  William  Johnson  ;  adopted  and  wore  the  English  costume, 
and  never  faltered  in  his  allegiance  to  that  nation.  He  resided  much 
of  the  time  at  the  upper  Mohawk  castle  in  what  is  now  the  town  of 
Danube.      He  was  killed  at  Lake  George,  September  8,  1755. 

To  the  religious  wars  that  swept  over  Europe  early  in  the  seventeenth 
century  may  be  directly  attributed  the  emigration  from  Germany 
which  ultimately  led  to  the  first  permanent  settlement  of  the  upper  Mo- 
hawk valley  by  white  people.  Germany  was  a  battlefield  of  religious 
war  for  nearly  a  hundred  years.  The  peasantry  generally  embraced 
the  doctrines  of  the  Reformation,  in  which  they  received  the  sj-mpathy 
of  Protestant  Englishmen.  The  affinity  existing  between  the  sovereigns 
of  England  and  the  German  Palatinate,  led  to  the  application  bj'  the 
suffering  Germans  to  Queen  Anne,  in  1708,  to  send  the  Palatines  to 
her  then  colony  of  New  York.     To  escape  from  what  they  would  not 

'  ^' .         -.  ,■  twenty-three  was  sent  to  the 

M"-  -le.  who  was  a  British  admiral. 

Tht  ssful  in  their  cnltivation.  sale. 

sto' r  .^^Ti-!,     :  r;  ,-,:  hc  became  connected  with  tv 

riir  '  permanently  in  the  Mohawk  vallej'.  and  applip 

him  .Mininjr  the  friendship  and  confidence  of  the  fu 

iliai  It  I  '.1111  Ml.  St. me  mansion  which  he  called  Fort  Johnson,  and 

wh'  W.1S  entrusted   with    the   sole   management  of   the  Indian 

mill  v.'ellerit  service.    He  was  appointed  a  colonel  in  the  British 

■  •""     colonial  troops  and  the  Indian  warriors,  the 

nm  devastation  by  the  French  and  their  allies. 

ct.  Joseph  Brant,  which  gave  him  additional 

:  —'-.-  under  appointment  as  major-g-eneral,  he  led  the 

:tnd  was  rewarded  by  a  baronetcy  and  5,000 pounds  from 

'  'nccat  Fort  Johnson  in  the  eastern  part  of  Montprom- 

'■    -moved  to  Johnstown,  where  he  built  his  stately 

^:e  nth  of  July,  7774-    His  remains  were  buried 

''torred  while  repairs  to  a  church  were  being 

..  ,.w  i.i.  ■■■■'•    "■"■ 'tincf  place. 


EARLY  SETTLEMENT.  29 

endure  in  their  own  country,  they  fled  to  another  where  their  religious 
faith  might  be  cultivated  and  enjoyed  free  from  persecution. 

On  the  loth  of  May,  1708,  Joshua  Kockerthal,  a  minister,  with  forty 
others  from  the  Lower  Palatinate  in  Germany,  reached  England.  They 
were  in  a  condition  of  destitution.  The  English  Lords  of  Trade 
vouched  for  their  good  character  and  "  humbly  proposed  "  that  they 
"  be  sent  to  settle  upon  Hudson's  River,  in  the  province  of  New  York, 
where  they  may  be  useful  to  this  kingdom,  particularly  in  the  produc- 
tion of  naval  stores,  and  as  a  frontier  against  the  French  and  their  In- 
dians." On  the  lOth  of  August  following  the  provincial  governor  was 
directed  to  provide  subsistence  for  Joshua  Kockerthal  and  forty- two 
German  Protestants,  and  "  to  grant  him  500  acres  of  land  for  a  glebe 
with  liberty  to  sell  a  suitable  portion  thereof  for  his  better  maintenance 
till  he  shall  be  able  to  live  by  the  produce  of  the  remainder." 

These  Palatines  probably  arrived  in  New  York  about  the  close  of  the 
year  1708,  and  an  order  was  made  in  the  Provincial  Council  at  New 
York  May  26,  1709,  to  continue  the  relief  promised  by  the  queen  until 
the  expiration  of  twelve  months  from  the  date  of  their  arrival;  this  re- 
lief included  clothing,  mechanical  tools  and  materials  to  work  with.  It 
is  known  that  this  company,  or  the  greater  part  of  it,  settled  permanent- 
ly in  what  is  now  Ulster  county;  and,  as  has  often  happened  in  similar 
cases,  the  emigrants  met  with  much  difficulty  in  securing  the  promised 
aid  from  England.     The  tools  were,  however,  supplied  them,  as  agreed. ^ 

The  second  immigration  of  Palatines,  and  by  far  the  larger  in  num- 
bers, arrived  at  New  York  shortly  before  June  14,  1 7 10.  In  the  Coun- 
cil, the  president  (Mr.  Beekman)  "  informed  the  Board  that  the  ship 
Lyon  is  arrived  in  this  port,  having  brought  a  considerable  number  of 
Palatines  for  whom  her  Majesty  has  commanded  him  to  Provide  Lodg- 
ing and  Provisions  and  desired  the  Gentlemen  of  the  Councill  to  give 
their  opinions  what  measures  are  proper  to  be  taken  with  them." 
More  than  3,000  emigrants  came  over  at  this  time,  and  there  being  con - 

1  The  following  lists  of  tools  and  names  of  their  recipients  are  interesting  :  Joshua  Kockerthal— 
I  Barrel  of  Lime.  3  Gouches,  2  formers,  i  Grindingstone,  i  square,  i  Rule,  i  Compass,  and  several 
pieces  more-  Hermanns  Schuneman— 2  Handsaws,  1  Great  Saw,  3  Gouches.  2  Agors.  besides  several 
pieces  more.  Michael  Wiegand—i, great  file,  i  smaller  dito,  1  mortising  chisel,  i  Joynter,  i  Agor, 
besides  several  pieces  more.  Andreas  Volk— i  Cross  Cut  Saw,  i  Smooding  plain,  i  wiping  saw,  an- 
other set  of  gouches,  besides  severall  pieces  more.  Peter  Rose — i  Glupott.  i  Whimplingpitts,  i 
hatchet,  i  little  hamer,  2  Agors,  i  Joynter,  besides  severall  pieces  more.  These  lists  are  continued 
in  Doc.  Hist.  New  York,  vol.  HI,  pp.  550-51. 


30  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

tagious  disease  among  them,  they  were  quarantined  at  Nutten  Island 
(now  Governor's)  where  they  were  maintained  in  liuts  at  pubhc  ex- 
pense.i     Many  died  on  the  passage  over. 

This  body  of  Palatines  came  over  under  the  special  charge  of  Governor 
Hunter,  who  had  particular  directions  where  to  settle  them,  with  the 
view  of  their  aiding  in  protection  against  the  French  and  Indians.  For 
this  purpose  the  commissioners  designated  "  a  tract  of  land  lying  on  the 
Mohaques  river,  containing  about  fifty  miles  in  length,  and  four  miles  in 
breadth,  and  a  tract  of  land  lying  upon  a  creek  [evidently  the  Scho- 
harie] which  runs  into  said  river,  containing  between  twenty-four  and 
thirty  miles  in  length.  This  last  mentioned  land  is  claimed  by  the  Mo- 
haques, but  that  claim  may  be  satisfied  on  easy  terms."  ^  Reference  is 
made  by  the  commissioners  to  the  obstruction  in  the  river  at  Cohoes, 
but  they  thought  that  should  be  but  little  hindrance.  In  the  spring  of 
1710  Hunter  ordered  the  survey  of  lands  on  the  "  Mohaks  "  river,  and 
particularly  in  the  "  Skohare  to  which  the  Indians  had  no  pretence." 
But  owing  to  the  remoteness  of  the  Schoharie  lands,  and  their  supposed 
unfitness  for  agriculture,  with  the  scarcity  of  pine  timber.  Hunter  finally 
purchased  "  a  tract  of  land  on  Hudson's  river  from  Mr.  [Robert]  Liv- 
ingston, consisting  of  6,000  acres,  for  ;^400  of  this  country  money,  for 
planting  of  the  greatest  division  of  the  Palatines."  He  also  informed 
the  Board  of  Trade  that  he  had  found  an  ungranted  tract  near  by  on  the 
west  side  of  the  river  where  he  had  planted  the  remainder  of  the  Pala- 
tines, or  intended  to  do  so  soon.  On  the  i6th  of  June,  1710,  in  prob- 
able anticipation  of  what  would  naturally  occur,  the  Board  expressed 
the  opinion  "  that  a  Proclamation  doe  Issue  to  prevent  Exactions  and 
Extortions  in  the  price  of  Bread  &  other  Provisions  whereby  the  Pala- 
tines may  be  the  better  and  easier  Provided  therewith."  The  sequel 
justified  this  measure,  for  the  contractor  who  supplied  flour,  etc.,  cheated 
the  poor  immigrants  in  weight ;  and  they  complained  bitterly  to  the 
home  government  that  the  conditions  under  which  they  came  to  New 
York  were  not  fulfilled.     The  number  of  Palatines  on  Livingston's  man- 

'  "  It  is  the  opinion  of  this  Hoard  thereupon  that  Nutten  Island  is  the  properest  place  to  put  the 
Palatines  on  and  that  Huts  should  be  made  for  them."  The  huts  were  built  by  two  of  the  Palatine 
carpenters,  Johannes  Hebon  and  Peter  Williamse. 

2  The  board  also  designated  lands  on  the  "  Hudson's  river,  where  are  great  numbers  of  Pines,  fit 
for  Production  of  Turpentine  and  Tarr,  out  of  which  Rozinand  Pitch  are  made." 


EARLY  SETTLEMENT.  31 

or  and  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  Hudson  river  in  171 1  numbered  about 
1,800. 

Many  Palatine  children,  some  of  whom  were  orphans,  were  taken  un- 
der direction  of  the  governor  and  bound  out  as  apprentices  to  the  inhab- 
itants of  the  colony. 1  Some  of  these  afterwards  became  conspicuous  in 
the  history  of  the  State.     About  eighty  children  were  thus  apprenticed. 

Among  the  volunteers  who  accompanied  Colonel  Nicholson  on  his 
expedition  to  Canada  in  1711,  are  found  the  names  of  several  that 
afterwards  became  familiar  in  the  Mohawk  valley,  as  follows : 

Hen.  Hoffman,  Warner  Dirchest,  Fred.  Bellinger,  Hen.  Wederwachs,  Frantz  Finck, 
Martin  Dillenback,  Jacob  Webber,  William  Nellis,  George  Dacbstader,  Christian  Bauch, 
Mich.  Ittick,  Melch.  Folts,  Niclaus  Loiix,  Hartman  Windecker,  Hans  Hen.  Zeller,  Jno. 
Wm.  Finck,  Jno.  Hen.  Arendorff,  Johan  Schneider,  Henry  Feling,  Job.  Jost  Petry  and 
Lud.  W.  Schmit. 

Steps  were  taken  at  an  early  day  for  the  inauguration  of  simple  gov- 
ernment among  the  Palatines,  as  indicated  from  the  following: 

In  Council,  17th  June  1710.  Mr.  Cheife  Justice  Reported  to  his  Excellency  that 
himselfe  Mr.  Barberie  and  Mr.  Bickley  have  met  on  the  Reference  made  to  them 
yesterday  to  consider  of  a  Scheme  for  the  good  Governing  the  Palatines,  and  haveing 
Considered  the  same,  Proposed  that  Commissions  of  the  peace  and  other  Commissions 
be  Granted  to  some  persons  among  them  for  that  End  and  that  an  Ordinace  Issue  Im- 
powering  to  heare  and  determine  Small  Causes,  all  of  which  his  Excellency  Referred 
to  Mr.  Cheife  Justice  and  Mr.  Bickley  to  prepare  such  Commissions  and  Ordinaces. 

Dissatisfaction  and  discontent  arose  among  the  Palatines  on  the  Hud- 
son River.  It  is  more  than  probable  that  much  of  this  feeling  was 
chargeable  to  Robert  Livingston,  who  had  a  contract  for  providing  them 
with  flour,  etc.,  and  was  also  intimately  associated  with  them  in  other 
directions,  in  all  of  which  he  made  the  most  of  his  situation  for  his 
personal  gain.  In  a  letter  written  in  March,  171 1,  by  a  meinber  of  the 
British  government  to  one  of  his  colleagues,  the  writer  says: 

I  think  it  unhappy  that  Colo.  Hunter  at  his  first  arrival  in  his  government  fell  into 
ill  hands,  for  this  Livingston  has  been  known  many  years  in  that  province  for  a  very  ill 

1  In  Cotincil,  June  20, 1710 :  There  haveing  beene  severall  Proposalls  made  for  the  takeing  many 
of  the  Palatine  Children  for  a  terme  of  Yeares  and  there  being  many  Orphans  who  are  unable  to 
take  care  of  themselves  to  work,  and  many  who  by  sickness  are  rendered  incapable  of  doeing  any 
service  for  some  time  and  in  that  condition  would  be  a  great  expence  ^nd  there  being  noe  Prospect 
of  Settleing  them  this  sumer  by  reason  its  soe  much  advanced  His  Excellency  does  appoint  Doctor 
Staats  and  Mr.  Van  Dam  or  either  of  them  to  take  such  Proposalls  for  Placeing  out  the  Orphans 
and  other  Children  whose  Parents  have  a  numerous  ffamily  Entring  into  an  Instrument  in  Write- 
ing  to  Cloath  Victuall  and  use  them  well  and  to  deliver  them  to  the  government  when  called  for.— 
Doc.  Hist.  New  York,  vol.  Ill,  p.  553. 


32  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  CODNTY. 

man,  he  formerly  victualled  the  forces  at  Albany,  in  which  he  was  guilty  of  most  noto- 
rious frauds  by  which  he  greatly  improved  his  estate;  he  has  a  mill  and  a  brew-house 
upon  his  land,  and  if  he  can  get  the  victualling  of  those  Palatines  who  are  conveniently 
posted  for  his  purpose,  he  will  make  a  very  good  addition  to  his  estate,  and  I  am  per- 
suaded the  hopes  he  had  of  such  a  subsistance  to  be  allowed,  were  the  chief,  if  not  the 
only  inducements  that  prevailed  with  him  to  propose  to  Colo.  Hunter  to  settle  them 
upon  his  land. 

The  charitable  view  of  Hunter's  conduct  is  that  he  was  a  dupe  of 
Livingston. 

On  the  30th  of  May,  171 1,  the  colonial  secretary  informed  the  Board 
of  Trade  that  the  Palatines  would  not  work  at  tar  and  turpentine- making 
on  the  Hudson  River  lands  where  they  had  been  seated,  but  were  deter- 
mined to  remove  to  the  Schoharie  lands  where  the  queen  had  ordered 
them.  We  may  be  sure  that  there  was  very  good  reason  for  this  action 
on  their  part.  They  were  not  people  who  would  have  become  discon- 
tented if  they  had  been  honorably  treated.  That  they  were  poorly  fed, 
clothed  and  housed,  cheated  in  trade,  and  forced  into  kinds  of  work 
which  were  distasteful  to  them,  is  well  known.  In  reply  to  a  question 
as  to  the  behavior  of  his  people,  Mr.  Kockerthal  said  :  "  They  are  all 
at  work  and  busy,  but  manifestly  with  repugnance  and  merely  tempo- 
rarily ;  that  the  tract  intended  for  them  [the  Schoharie  and  Mohawk 
lands]  is  in  their  minds  a  land  of  Canaan.  •  »  *  They  will  not  listen 
to  tar-making." 

In  the  autumn  of  17*1  Governor  Hunter  warned  the  Palatines  to 
"  take  measures  to  subsist  themselves "  during  the  following  winter. 
Thereupon  immediate  action  was  begun  for  removal  to  the  Schoharie 
lands.  Their  own  account  says  :  "  All  hands  fell  to  work  and  in  2  weeks 
time  clear'd  a  way  thro'  the  woods  of  15  miles  long  with  the  utmost 
toyle  and  labour,  tho'  almost  starved  and  without  bread."  Fifty  families 
reached  the  Schoharie  district,  only  to  learn  that  the  lands  had  been 
granted  to  people  in  Albany,  and  to  be  warned  not  to  settle  thereon  by 
the  governor.  The  governor,  however,  "  prevailed  with  the  proprietors 
of  these  lands  to  make  an  offer  of  the  lands  free  from  all  rent  or  acknowl- 
edgment for  ten  years,  and  ever  after  at  a  very  moderate  quit  rent." 

Governor  Burnet  succeeded  Governor  Hunter  in  1720.  Among  his 
instructions  from  the  home  government  were  express  directions  to  re- 
move such  of  the  Palatines  as  might  desire,  from  their  first  settlements 


v-^ 


^ 


/ 


EARLY  SETTLEMENT.  33 

to  lands  more  suitable  for  them.  This  action  was  doubtless  precipitated 
by  a  strong  memorial  from  the  commissioners  of  the  Palatines  at  Scho- 
harie, which  was  taken  to  England  in  1718,  and  the  instructions  above 
noted  were  issued  within  the  next  sixteen  days. 

In  October,  1722,  a  third  company  of  Palatines  arrived  in  New  York 
from  Holland,  having  touched  at  England  on  the  passage.  In  the  fol- 
lowing year  a  large  exodus  of  the  Schoharie  Palatines  took  place  to  Penn- 
sj'lvania  and  other  localities,  in  consequence  of  the  Albany  ownership 
of  Schoharie  lands,  above  alluded  to.  The  arrival  of  the  third  company 
from  Holland  in  1722,  and  this  exodus  in  1723,  will  enable  us,  as  nearly 
as  may  be,  to  fix  the  date  of  the  first  settlement  of  the  Palatines  at  Ger- 
man Flats.  On  this  important  point  we  shall  quote  from  the  late  Judge 
Benton's  work,  wherein  he  shows  the  result  of  careful  and  exhaustive 
research  : 

On  the  21st  of  November,  1722,  Governor  Burnet  informeJ  the  Board  of  Trade,  elc, 
that  he  had  expected  when  he  was  at  Albany,  to  have  fixed  the  Palatines  in  their  new 
settlement  which  he  had  obtained  of  the  Indians  for  them  at  a  very  easy  purchase,  but 
in  consequence  of  the  divisions  among  them,  and  their  complaints  about  the  quaHty  of 
the  lands  in  the  new  purchase,  he  concluded  not  to  show  any  earnestness  in  pressing 
them  logo  on  to  the  lands.  But  he  says  there  tvere  about  sixty  families  who  desired 
to  have  a  distinct  tract  by  themselves,  and  being  those  who  had  all  along  been  most 
hearty  for  the  government,  he  had  given  them  leave  to  purchase  lands  from  the  Indians 
between  the  English  settlements  near  Fort  Hunter  and  part  of  Canada,  on  a  creek 
called  Canada  Creek,  where  they  will  be  more  immediately  a  barrier  against  the  sudden 
incursions  of  the  French,  who  made  this  their  road  when  they  last  attacked  and  burned 
the  frontier  town  called  "  Schonectady ."  The  Indian  deed  for  the  lands  at  and  west  of 
Little  Falls,  covered  in  part  by  the  so  called  Burnetsfield  patent,  is  dated  July  9,  1722, 
anterior  to  the  arrival  of  the  third  company  of  Palatine  immigrants,  and  this  fact  forces 
the  conclusion  that  the  grantees  of  the  patent  were  composed  chiefly,  if  not  entirely  of 
those  Palatines  who  arrived  in  1710,  and  were  first  .'eated  on  the  Hudson  River;  and 
this  view  seems  to  be  strengthened  by  Governor  Burnet's  remarks  to  the  Board  of 
Trade.  It  is  quite  certain  that  but  few,  if  any,  of  the  Schoharie  people  were  among 
the  first  settlers  of  the  German  b^lats,  unless  they  straggled  from  below.  But  there  is 
no  such  name  as  Erghemar,  Herkemer  or  Herkimer  in  the  lists  of  those  who  came  over 
in  the  two  first  companies  of  immigrants,  nor  apparently  any  name  from  which  Herki- 
mer could  be  derived  or  coined  without  violating  all  known  rules  of  etymology.  The 
Erghemar  family  were  not  among  the  Palatines  on  Hudson  River  in  1711,  nor  of  those 
who  remained  in  New  York.  They  probably  arrived  with  the  third  company  of  im- 
migrants in  1722,  from  Holland,  where  they  had  sojourned  many  years. 

At  what  time  these  people  actually  settled  upon  the  lands  patented  to  them  by  the 
crown,  in  the  spring  of  1725,  is  perhaps  problematical,  and  rests  in  tradition.  They 
5 


34  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

were  very  urgent  to  remove  to  a  part  of  the  country  vehere  they  could  pursue  their 
vocations  and  indulge  in  their  own  peculiar  customs,  unmolested  by  strangers  and  un- 
controlled by  colonial  task  masters;  where  the  lands  they  tilled  were  secured  to  them 
(}y  all  the  sanctions  of  a  public  grant  emanating  from  the  king.  They  had  long  felt  and 
known  that  "  patience  and  hope  make  fools  of  tliose  who  fill  their  hands  with  them." 
They  and  their  ancestors  for  three-quarters  of  a  century  nearly,  had  been  afflicted  with 
all  the  worldly  evils  and  miseries  that  an  intolerant  and  tyrannical  hierarchy,  .supported 
by  absolute  despotic  governments,  could  bring  upon  them  ;  and  they  had  looked  to  the 
future  with  patient  and  hopeful  emotions  for  a  day  of  deliverance.  After  twelve  years 
of  trial  and  privation  incident  to  a  new  climate  and  a  wilderness  country,  during  which 
time  they  saw  that  strangers,  and  not  their  families  after  them,  were  to  be  benefited  by 
their  labors  (no  lands  had  yet  been  set  out  to  them,  by  grant  from  the  crown),  well  might 
they  exclaim  that  those  who  endure  patiently  present  wrongs  and  take  no  means  of 
relief  only  to  hope  for  it,  were  unwise  and  improvident. 

The  Dutch  recaptured  New  York  in  1673,  but  it  was  restored  to  the  English  by  treaty 
in  1674.  At  this  time  and  to  the  close  of  the  seventeenth  century,  a  very  great  ma- 
jority of  the  people  of  the  province  were  Low  Dutch  or  Hollanders,  and  the  French  of 
Canada  exerted  much  interest  with  all  the  Iroquois  Indians,  through  the  agency  of  the 
Jesuits  and  the  control  of  the  fur  trade,  except  the  Maquae-s,  Mohocks  or  Mohawks. 
The  whole  country  from  Albany  north  to  Lake  Cbamplain,  and  from  Schenectady  west 
to  Lakes  Ontario  and  Erie  was  an  unbroken  wilderness,  and  it  was  therefore  important 
that  England  should  strengthen  her  colony  of  New  York  in  both  directions  by  planting 
.settlements  as  barriers  against  hostile  approaches,  but  she  had  no  people  to  spare;  the 
<;ontinental  wars  in  which  she  had  been  long  engaged  and  was  then  involved,  more  than 
liecimated  her  population,  and  she  eagerly  embraced  the  opportunity  of  sending  over 
the  Palatines  at  the  public  expense.  Governor  Burnet,  whose  talents,  learning  and 
kindness  commended  him  to  the  well  disposed  colonists,  seconded  this  policy  of  his 
Ljovernment  with  zeal  and  success.  Little  did  the  governor  or  the  home  government 
then  believe  they  were  planting  a  barrier  of  stout  hearts  and  sinewy  arms  on  this 
frontier,  which  was  soon  to  aid  in  obstructing  the  designs  of  the  mother  country  in  one 
of  her  most  deliberate  and  best  planned  campaigns  of  the  Revolution.  Nor  could  these 
then  houieless  exiles  put  aside  the  curtain  of  futurity  and  behold  the  terrific  and  tragic 
scenes  which  were  so  effectively  and  relentlessly  enacted  upon  the  soil  they  had  chosen 
for  their  homes,  and  by  the  power  through  whose  agency  they  had  obtained  their 
promised  land. 

The  precise  time  when  the  Palatines  made  their  first  lodgment  in  the  county  is  not 
ascertained.  It  was  not  later  than  1725.  Some  who  have  speculated  upon  the  subject 
suppose  they  came  up  the  Mohawk  valley  as  far  as  the  Little  Falls  and  to  the  Stone 
Ridge  as  early  as  the  year  1720.  Their  agents,  sent  to  spy  out  the  lands,  may  have 
traversed  the  valley  to  the  western  bounds  of  the  territory  claimed  by  the  Mohawk 
Indians  as  early  as  1720,  and  perhaps  before  that  period  ;  but  Governor  Burnet  had  not 
fixed  them  in  the  new  settlement  he  had  obtained  for  them  of  the  Indians,  at  a  very 
easy  purchase,  as  late  as  November,  1722,  and  he  that  year  permitted  some  of  them  to 
purchase  lands  of  the  Indians  "  on  a  creek  called  Canada  Creek."  They  secured  the 
carrying  place  at  the  lesser  falls  as  well  as  a  long  extent  of  wilderness  country  above, 


EARLY  SETTLEMENT.  3& 

by  their  Indian  deed;  and  the  license  of  the  colonial  governraent  to  make  the  purchase 
may  have  been  considered  by  both  parties  an  authorization  tor  them  to  remove  before 
the  patent  was  made  out,  as  it  no  doubt  was  a  solemn,  irrevocable  public  pledge  that 
the  lands  would  be  granted  by  the  crown  as  soon  as  they  should  be  surveyed.  On 
this  hypothesis  it  may  be  conjectured  that  settlements  were  made  at  or  near  the  present 
site  of  the  Stone  Church  in  the  town  of  German  Flats,  and  at  Herkimer  village  as  early 
as  the  years  1723-24,  if  not  before.  Owning  the  lands  at  the  carrying  place,  it  is  not 
likely  that  point  was  long  neglected  or  unimproved. 

Burnetsfield  patent,  so  called  in  popular  parlance,  is  a  curious  document,  and  well 
worthy  of  some  special  notice.  It  was  granted  on  the  30th  of  April,  1725.  It  recites 
that  "  whereas  our  loving  subjects,  John  Joost  Petri  and  Coenradt  Rickert,  in  behalf  of 
themselves  and  other  distressed  Palatines,  by  their  humble  petition  presented  the  17th 
day  of  January,  1722,  toour  trusty  and  well  beloved  William  Burnet,  Esq.,  Captain 
General  and  Governor-in-chief  of  the  province  of  New  York,  in  council  have  set  forth 
that  in  "  accordance  with  the  governor's  license  they  had  purchased  "  of  the  native 
Indians  in  the  Mohawks  country"  the  tract  of  land  on  both  sides  of  the  "Mohawks 
river"  commencing  at  the  "first  carrying  place  [Little  Falls],  being  the  eastermost 
bounds  called  by  the  natives  Astourogon,  running  along  on  both  sides  of  the  said  river 
westerly  unto  a  place  called  Ganondagaraon,  or  the  upper  end  of  it,"  being  "  about 
twenty-four  English  miles  along  on  both  sides  of  the  said  river.  '  The  Indian  deed  is 
dated  July  9,  1722.  That  the  council  advised  the  governor  to  "grant  to  each  of  the 
said  persons,  man,  woman  and  child,  as  are  desirous  to  settle  within  the  limits  of  the 
said  tract  of  land  the  quantity  of  100  acres." 

The  grantees  were  to  hold  the  lands  of  the  crown  "  in  free  and  common  socage,  that 
being  the  usual  tenure  named  in  the  colonial  grants  at  this  time,  as  of  the  manor  of  East 
Greenwich,  in  the  county  of  Kent,  in  Great  Britain,  subject  to  an  annual  quit-rent  of 
two  shillings  and  sixpence  per  hundred  acres,  and  on  condition  that  the  grantees,  their 
heirs  and  a.ssigns,  should  within  three  years  from  the  date,  plant,  settle  and  effectually 
cultivate  at  least  three  acres  of  land  of  every  fifty  acres  "  granted  to  them.  This  patent 
also  contains  the  usual  reservation  of  gold  and  silver  mines.Jtimber  fit  for  the  royal  navy, 
and  the  right  to  enter  upon  the  lands  and  take  and  carry  away  the  same. 

Of  the  ninety-two  persons  named  in  the  patent  to  whom  lands  were  granted,  twenty- 
two  appear  to  be  females,  by  the  description,  married,  single  or  widowed.  The  paper 
does  not  disclose  the  number  of  families  or  the  heads  of  families  represented  by  males 
who  settled  on  the  tract,  or  how  many  one  hundred  acre  lots  went  to  any  one  family, 
husband,  wife  and  children.  There  are  several  Pellingers,  Starings,  Wevers,  Smiths, 
Edicks,  Beermans,  to  whom  grants  were  made.  Jurgh  Erghemar,  Johan  Jost,  Mada- 
lana  and  Catharina  Erghemar  are  separately  named,  but  Nicholas  Herkimer,  afterwards 
the  General,  was  not  a  patentee. 

The  following  table  gives  the  names  of  the  original  patentees,  the 
number  of  the  lots  taken  by  each,  and  their  location.  Many  of  the 
names  will  be  familiar  as  still  belonging  to  their  descendants  in  the 
county,  while  many  of  them  have  been  so  changed  in  their  orthography 
as  to  be  scarcely  recognizable : 


36 


HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 


NAMES  OF   PATENTEES   ARRANGED. 


r-  Beerman,  Mary, 

a.  Beerman,  Johannes/-- - 
3-  Same 

4.  Bowman,  Jacob,.. 

5.  Bowman,  Johan  Adam,. 
Same, 


D. 

6.  Dacksteder,  Anna,  wife  of  Jurgh  Dacksteder,. 

7.  Dacksteder,  Jurgli,_ 

Same, 


8.  Edich,  Elizabeth, 

9.  Edigh,  Johan  Michael,. 

10.  Edich,  Jacob, 

11.  Editch,  Michael, 

12.  Er^hemar,  Jurgh, 

13.  Erghemar,  John  Jost,.. 

14.  Erghemar,  Madalana,.. 

15.  Erghemar,  Catharina.-. 


16.  Feller   Nicholas, 

Same, 

17.  Feller,  Mary,  wife  of  Nicholas  Feller,- 

18.  Felmore,  Coenradt,__. 

ig.  Felmore,  Chri.stiana, 

20.  Fols.  Jacob, 

21.  Fols.  Melgert, 

Same, 

22.  Fox.  Christopher, 


H. 
Heger,  Henry. 

Helmer,  Elizabeth,  wife  ofLendert  Helmer,, 

Helmer,  Philip. 

Helmer,  Johan  Adam, 

Same, _ .__ 


Helmer,  Frederick, 

Helmer,  Anna  Margaret. i 

Herter,  Apolone, 

Herter.  Lowrens, _. 

Hess.  Augustines, 

Hoss,  Johannes, _. 


ife  of  John  Adam  Helmer 


K. 

^4.  Keslaer,  Johannes, _. 

35.  Keslaer,  Nicholas, 

^6.  Kast.  Johan  Jurgh,  jr., 

Same, 

37.  Kast,  Johan  Jurgh, 

Same, 

"iS.  Koons,  Mary  Catharine,  widow, 

Same _ 

3().  Korsing,  Rudolph, 

40.  Korsing,  Belia,  wife  of  Rudolph  Korsing.. 

41.  Koues,  Lodowick, 


43.  Mayor,  Hendrik,.. 
Same. 

44.  Mayor,  Anna, 

45.  Miller,  Johannes.. 


North 
South 


North 
South 


South 
North 
I  South 


At  the  Little  Falls. 


All  the  30  acre  lots  were 
set  on  what  were  call- 
ed the  Great  Flats,  in 
and  near  the  present 
village  of  Herkimer. 
The  70  acre  lots  are 
described  in  the  patent 
as  wood  land. 


Mohawk  Village. 

And   large  island  in 


Mohawk  Valley. 


At  the  Little  Falls 


Near  Rankin's  Lock. 


I  South     Opposite  Great  Flats. 


*  l\vo  lots  of  same  number  to  Johannes  Beerman. 


EARLY  SETTLEMENT. 


37 


S'AMES   OF   PATENTEES   ARRANGED. 


48.  Pears,  Catharine, 

4g,  Pears,  Lodowick, ;__ _ 

50.  Pell,  Frederick, 

51.  Pell,  Anna  Mary, 

52.  PelUnger,  Johannes, 

Same,  ,. 

53.  Pellinger,  Peter, 

Same, 

54.  Pellinger,  Margaret,  wife  of  Johannes  Pellinger,. 

55.  Pellinger,  Frederick, 

56.  Pellinger,  Margaret,  wife  of  Johannes  Pellinger,., 

57.  Petri,  Johan  Joost, 

Same,  __ 

58.  Petri,  Gurtruydt,  wife  of  Johan  Joost  Petri, 

Sg.  Petri,  Mark. _._ 

60.  Pouradt,  Johannes 

61.  Poenradt,  Gurtruydt,  wife  of  Johannes  Poenradt,. 


R. 


62.  Reelle,  Godfrey, 

Same, 

63.  Reele,  Godfrey,  jr.,*. 

64.  Reele,  Godfrey, 

65.  Rickert,     Lodowick.. 
Same, 

66.  Rickert,  Catharine,-. 

■67.  Rickert.  Conradt, 

68.  Rickert,  Mark 


.  Shoemaker,  Rudolph, 

.  Shoemaker,  Thomas,- 

Same, 

.  Smith,  Adam  Michael, 

Same, __. 

.  Smith,  Johan  Jurgh, 

Same, 

.  Smith,  Ephraim, 

.  Smith,  Marte, 

.  Speis,  Peter,-- _. 

,  Speis.  Elizabeth,  wife  of  PeterSpeis, 

,  Spoon,  Hendrik _ 

,  Spo  .n,  Hendrik,  jr., --- 

,  Staring,  Mary  Eva,  wife  of  John  Adam  Staring,. 
.  Staring,  John  Adam, 

Staring,  Frederick, _ 

Same, __. 

.  Staring,  Johannes  Velden, 

,  Staring,  Nicholas, 

Staring.  Joseph, 

Staring,  John Velde,  jr., 


86.  Temouth,  John  Jost,. 

87.  Temouth,  Fredrigh,.. 


Same,  - 


88.  Veldelent,  John,- 
Same,  -_ -_ 

8g.  Veldelent,  Anna, 


90.  Wever,  Jacob, 

Same. 

QT.  Wever,  Nicholas, 

Same. 

92.  Wever,  Andries, 

93.  Wever,  Jacob,  jr., 

94.  Welleven,  Nicholas, - 


South 
North 


Opposite  Great  Flats. 
And  )^  of  an  island. 
On  east  side  of  West  Can- 
Same,  [ada  Creek. 


Near  Mohawk  Village. 


Stone    Ridge,    Herkimer 
Village. 


Nori:h  Capt.  Peter  Klock. 


Nori;h 
South 
North 

South 


Ilion  Village. 


Ilion  Village. 


At  the  Little  Falls. 
And  X  of  an  island. 


At  Little  Falls. 


Ft.  Herkimer,  Stone  Ch. 


Same  lot  to  Godfrey  Reele  and  Godfrey  Reele,  jr 


38 


HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 


In  the  Burnetsfield  patent 
there  were  forty-six  lots  on 
each  side  of  the  river.  Those 
embracing  the  villages  of  Ilion 
and  Mohawk  and  the  inter- 
vening ground  were  of  uni- 
form shape  and  size.  Lots 
24  south  and  27  and  28  north 
of  the  Mohawk,  were  partly 
composed  of  islands  in  the 
stream.  The  broad  river  bot- 
toms about  the  site  of  Herki- 
mer were  naturally  a  coveted 
portion  of  the  patent ;  and  to 
give  as  many  as  possible  of 
the  grantees  a  share  in  this 
choice  land,  it  was  not  appor- 
tioned among  a  few  in  100- 
acre  lots,  but  was  divided  as  a 
rule  into  lots  of  thirty  acres 
each,  and  the  recipients  of 
these  completed  their  allot- 
ments by  taking  70-acre  lots 
(of  the  same  number)  of  the 
higher  wooded  ground  back 
of  the  river.  The  30-acre  lots 
covered  the  site  of  Herkimer 
(except  one  86- acre  piece) 
and  all  the  vicinity  in  the  an- 
gle of  the  river  and  West 
Canada  Creek,  back  to  a  line 
passing  from  the  river  to  the 
creek  a  little  northwest  of  the 
village ;  while  from  this  line 
the  corresponding  70-acie  lots 
stretched     away     in     a     block 


EARLY  SETTLEMENT.  39 

northwestwardly  for  about  two  miles  and  a  quarter.  These  large  lots 
ran  the  whole  length  of  this  block,  while  they  were  only  sixteen  rods  in 
width,  the  object  being  to  give  each  of  them  an  end  toward  the  flats 
and  as  close  communication  as  possible  with  the  low  lot  belonging  to 
the  same  proprietor.  (The  accompanying  plan  shows  the  divisions  of 
these  lots). 

The  act  of  confirmation,  January  17,  1723,  required  that  the  names 
and  number  of  all  the  persons  to  be  concerned  in  the  grant  should  be 
certified  to  the  surveyor-general  before  the  survey  was  made,  and  as 
appears  by  the  patent  issued,  there  were  only  thirty- nine  families  and 
ninety-four  persons  reported. 

The  Burnetsfield  patent  was  dated  April  30,  1725,  about  two  years 
after  the  first  Palatine  settlements  in  this  vicinity.  The  Burnetsfield 
grantees  held  their  land  subject  to  a  quit- rent  of  two  shillings  and  six- 
pence per  hundred  acres,  and  were  bound  to  cultivate  within  three  years 
at  least  three  acres  of  every  fifty  given  them.  "  For  a  long  time  after  the 
Palatines  came  to  this  valley,"  said  Samuel  Earl  in  a  historical  address, 
"  the  heart  of  their  settlement  was  where  the  old  stone  church  stands 
[Fort  Herkimer].  Here  came  the  Schoharie  Palatines,  to  the  number 
of  thirty  families  and  upwards,  in  the  spring  of  1723,  and  then  began 
the  first  settlement  in  this  county." 

While  the  impartial  reader  of  this  day  will  readily  accord  the  pre- 
sumption that  the  offer  by  the  queen  of  a  haven  to  the  persecuted  Ger- 
mans was  a  boon  of  the  highest  importance,  we  cannot  shut  our  eyes  to 
the  selfishness  and  injustice  of  the  government  and  its  unprincipled  agents 
who,  at  the  same  time,  sought  to  profit  through  the  necessities  of  the 
immigrants  and  to  set  them  up  on  the  frontier  as  probable  targets  for 
the  French  insurgents. 

It  was  not  until  1724,  long  after  Governor  Burnet's  arrival,  that  the 
6,000  acres  purchased  of  Mr.  Livingston  fourteen  years  earlier  was  se- 
cured to  the  Palatines  by  patent.  This  gave  each  of  the  families  a 
liberal  domain;  each  of  the  sixty-three  heads  of  families  took  what  he 
had  held  and  improved,  while  the  remainder  of  the  tract  was  left  in 
common. 

At  one  time  Governor  Burnet  contemplated  removing  the  whole  of 
the  German  population  then  under  his  government  to  the  center  of  the 


40  HISTORT  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTV. 

State,  as  indicated  in  his  letter  of  October  i6,  1721,  to  the  Lords  of 
Trade,  wherein  he  says :  "  I  did  intend  to  settle  the  Palatines  as 
far  as  I  could  in  the  middle  of  our  Indians,  but  finding  they  could  not 
be  brought  to  that,  I  have  granted  their  own  request  which  was  to  have 
a  license  to  purchase  of  the  nearest  Indians,  which  are  on  the  Mohocks, 
which  I  have  granted  them  with  this  condition,  that  they  be  not  nearer 
than  2.  fall  in  the  Mohocks  River,  which  is  forty  miles  from  Fort  Hunter, 
and  four  score  from  Albany,  by  which  the  frontier  will  be  so  much  ex- 
tended, and  those  people  seem  very  well  pleased  and  satisfied  with  what 
I  have  done."  In  his  letter  of  November  21,  1722,  he  says:  "As 
about  sixty  families  desired  to  be  in  a  distinct  tract  from  the  rest,"  he 
gave  them  leave  to  purchase  from  the  Indians  on  the  Canada  Creek, 
where  they  would  be  more  immediately  a  barrier  against  the  sudden 
incursions  of  the  French. 


CHAPTER  HI. 

THE    FRENCH    AND    INDIAN    WAR. 

THE  time  came  soon  enough  when  the  peaceful  German  settlers  of 
the  upper  Mohawk  valley  were  called  upon  to  "  stand  as  a  frontier 
against  the  French  and  their  Indians."  After  about  thirty-five  years  of 
prosperous  peace,  during  which  their  farms  had  been  cleared,  buildings 
erected,  stock  and  crops  raised  and  defenses  established,  the  shock  of 
the  French  and  Indian  war,  as  it  is  known,  came  upon  them  in  Novem- 
ber, 1757.  The  English  fort  at  Oswego  and  the  small  fortifications  on 
Wood  Creek  and  the  upper  Mohawk  had  been  captured  in  the  previous 
year;  and  on  the  12th  of  November,  1757,  a  force  of  about  three  hun- 
dred marines,  Canadians  and  Indians,  under  command  of  M.  De 
Belletre,  traversed  the  wilderness  by  way  of  Black  River,  and  attacked 
and  destroyed  the  Palatine  settlements  on  the  north  side  of  the  Mohawk 
at  or  near  the  present  village  of  Herkimer.  The  attack  was  a  surprise 
and  resulted  in  a  cold-blooded  massacre,  which  is  described  as  follows  in 
the  bombastic  style  of  the  French  narrator : 


THE  FRENCH  AND  INDIAN  WAR.  41 

"On  the  11th  of  November,  at  three  o'clock  in  the  forenoon,  M.  de  Belletre,  pre- 
ceded as  was  his  custom  by  scouts,  crossed  the  river  Corlaer  [Mohawk]  with  his  de- 
tachment, partly  swimming,  partly  in  water  up  to  the  neck.  He  encamped  at  night- 
fall in  the  woods  a  league  and  a  half  from  the  Hrst  of  the  five  forts  that  covered  the 
Palatine  settlements. 

"The  l'2th,  at  three  o'clock  in  the  morning,  he  gave  his  detachment  the  order  of 
march  and  attack  so  as  to  surround  the  said  five  forts  and  the  entire  Palatine  village, 
consisting  of  sixty  houses. 

"  Though  M.  de  Belletre  knew  that  the  English  got  notice  the  day  preceding,  yet 
that  the  courage  of  the  Indians  may  not  receive  the  least  check,  and  to  show  them  that 
he  would  not  rashly  expose  them,  he  liberated  an  Indian  of  the  Five  Nations,  whom  he 
had  until  then  detained  under  suspicion.  But  this  savage  could  not  injure  M.  de 
Belletre,  because  he  commenced  at  the  same  time  to  attack  the  five  forts  and  the  Pala- 
tines' houses. 

"  At  sight  of  the  first  fort  he  decided  to  take  it  by  assault.  The  enemj'  kept  up  a 
most  active  fire  of  musketry,  but  the  intrepidity  with  which  M.  de  Belletre,  and  all  the 
officers  and  Canadians  of  his  detachment  advanced,  coupled  with  the  war  whoop  of  the 
Indians,  terrified  the  English  to  the  degree  that  the  mayor  of  the  village  of  the  Pala- 
tines, who  commanded  the  said  fort,  opened  the  doors  and  asked  for  quarters. 

"  M.  de  Belletre  lost  no  time  in  repairing  to  the  second,  the  third,  the  fourth  and 
fifth,  which  were  not  less  intimidated  than  the  first,  by  his  intrepidity  and  the  cries  of 
the  Indians.     They  all  surrendered  at  discretion  and  were  entirely  burnt. 

"  During  this  time  a  party  of  Canadians  and  Indians  ravaged  and  burnt  the  said  sixty 
houses  of  the  Palatines,  their  barns  and  other  out  buildings,  as  well  as  the  water  mill. 

"  In  all  these  expeditions  about  forty  English  perished — killed  or  drowned.  The 
number  of  prisoners  is  nearly  one  hundred  and  fifty  men,  women  and  children,  among 
whom  is  the  mayor  of  the  village,  the  surgeon  and  some  militia  officers.  We  had  not 
a  man  killed ;  but  M.  de  Lorimer,  officer,  was  wounded  in  the  right  side  by  a  ball,  and 
three  or  four  savages  slightly. 

''  The  damage  inflicted  on  the  enemy  is  estimated  according  to  the  representations 
of  the  English  themselves,  to  wit: 

•'  In  grain,  of  all  sorts,  a  much  larger  quantity  than  the  island  of  Montreal  has  pro- 
duced in  years  of  abundance.  The  same  of  hogs;  3,000  horned  cattle;  3,000  sheep. 
All  these  articles  were  to  be  sent  in  a  few  days  to  Corlaer  [Schenectady] ;  1 ,500  horses, 
300  of  which  were  taken  by  the  Indians,  and  the  greater  number  consumed  for  the 
support  of  the  detachment. 

"  The  property  in  furniture,  wearing  apparel,  merchandise  and  liquor  might  form  a 
capital  of  1,500,000  livres  [$277,500].  The  mayor  of  the  village  alone  has  lost  400, 
000  [$74,000].  The  French  and  Indians  have  acquired  as  rich  a  booty  as  they  could 
carry  off.  They  have  in  specie  more  than  100,000  livres  [$18,500].  One  Indian  alone 
has  as  much  at  30,000  [$6,550].  There  was  likewise  plundered  a  quantity  of  wampum, 
silver  bracelets,  &c.,  scarlet  cloth  and  other  merchandise,  which  would  form  a  capital 
of  80,000  more.  All  this  damage  could  not  be  done  short  of  forty-eight  hours.  M.  de 
Belletre  made  provision  to  be  always  able  to   resist  the  enemy,  who  as  has  been  ob- 


42  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMKR  COUNTY. 

served  were  to  the  numlier  of  350  men   in   the   said    Fort  Koiiari  |HerkinieiJ,  jdioul  a 
quarter  of  a  league  from  the  field  of  battle." 

Although  this  account  is  greatly  exaggerated,  as  was  proved  subse- 
quently by  the  narrative  of  Mr.  Daine  which  was  sent  to  the  French 
minister, '  especially  in  regard  to  destruction  of  property,  it  still  tells  a 
tale  of  barbarity  most  revolting  in  all  its  details.  The  responsibility  for 
this  disastrous  event  is  in  dispute.  William  L.  Stone,  the  biographer 
of  Sir  Wilham  Johnson,  exonerates  the  baronet  from  blame,  while  the 
late  Judge  Benton  throws  doubt  upon  Stone's  proofs.  It  seems  almost 
incredible  that  Sir  William  Johnson  could  have  connived  for  this  wan- 
ton attack,  and  no  less  incredible  that  he  would  endeavor  to  hide  his 
duplicity  under  proofs  deliberately  manufactured.  Sir  William  had 
long  before  the  assault  urged  the  stationing  of  a  force  of  rangers  at  the 
German  Flats  for  scouting  purposes.  He  had  characterized  the  garri- 
sons among  the  Palatines  as  being  "  not  only  very  arrogant  and  self- 
sufficient,"  but  "  of  no  use  in  protecting  the  Germans."  His  interest 
for  the  welfare  of  the  Germans  seems  to  have  continued  down  almost 
to  the  date  of  the  attack.  He  wrote  to  the  Lords  of  Trade  September 
28,  1757,  as  follows  : 

The  Tiiscaroras  and  Oneidas  have  not  yet  made  any  e.xpress  declaration  to  me ; 
they  have  promised  soon  to  do  it.  The  latter  are  divided  among  themselves,  and  the 
greater  part  under  the  influence  of  those  of  their  nation  whom  the  French  have  drawn 
ofT  to  live  at  Sweegachie  on  St.  Lawrence  river,  and  at  whose  scalping  parties,  which 
molest  the  German  Flats,  they  do  at  least  connive. 

The  evidence  of  Sir  William's  honor  in  the  matter  rests  chiefly  upon 
the  following  :  Having  been  informed  that  the  Indians  had  not  notified 
the  Palatines  of  the  enemy's  approach  until  the  morning  of  the  attack, 
he  sent  his  dsputy  to  make  inquiry  of  several  Oneida  and  Tuscarora 
Indians  who  had  assembled  at  the  German  Flats  why  they  had  not 
given  the  settlers  timely  warning.  The  deputy  agent,  George  Crogin, 
did  not  arrive  at  the  scene  of  desolation  until  the  Indians  had  left  for 
home;  but  at  his  request  they  returned.  His  narrative  of  what  then 
took  place  states  : 

>  Governor  DeLancy,  in  mentioning  the  tlestruction  of  "  a  valuable  settlement  on  the  north  side 
of  the  Molia\vk*s  rivtr,  opposite  to  Fort  Hareniger,  called  the  Gerinan  Flats,"  says,  "  the  loss  is 
estimated  at  twenty  thousand  pounds  this  money,"  a  large  discrepancy  from  that  given  by  the 
valorous  Frenchman.—  Hcnton's  Herkimer  County. 


THE  FRENCH  AND  INDIAN  WAR.  45 

The  aforesaid  Indians  returned,  and  on  the  30th  of  ISl ovember  [1757],  at  Fort  Harke- 
man,  Conaghquieson,  the  chief  Oneida  sachem,  made  the  following  speech  to  Mr.  Cro- 
ghan,  having  first  called  in  one  Rudolph  Shumaker,  Hanjost  Harkeman  and  several  other 
Germans,  who  understood  the  Indian  language,  and  de.'^ired  them  to  sit  down  and  hear 
what  he  was  going  to  say.  Conaghquieson  then  said  :  "  Brother,  I  can't  help  telling 
you  that  we  were  very  much  surprised  to  hear  that  our  "brethren,  the  English,  suspect 
and  charge  us  with  not  giving  them  timely  notice  of  tiie  designs  of  the  French,  as  it  is 
well  known  we  have  not  neglected  to  give  tliem  every  piece  of  intelHgence  that  came 
to  our  knowledge. 

"  Brother  :  About  fifteen  days  before  the  afiFair  happened,  we  sent  the  Germans  word 
that  some  Swegatchi  Indians  told  us  the  French  were  determined  to  destroy  the  Ger- 
man Flats,  and  desired  them  to  be  on  their  guard.  About  six  days  after  that  we  had 
a  further  account  from  the  Swegatchi,  that  the  French  were  preparing  to  mai-cli. 

"  I  then  oame  down  to  the  German  Flats,  and  in  a  meeting  with  the  German.s,  told 
what  we  had  heard,  and  desired  them  to  collect  themselves  together  in  a  body  at  their 
fort,  and  secure  their  women,  cliildren  and  efifects,  and  make  the  best  defense  they 
could  ;  and  at  the  same  time  told  th^i  to  write  what  I  had  said  to  onr  brother  War- 
raghiyagey  [Meaning  Sir  William  Johiison.  The  Palatines  never  sent  this  intelligence]. 
But  they  paid  not  the  least  regard  to  what  I  told  them,  and  laughed  at  me,  saying  they 
did  not  value  the  enemy.  Upon  this  I  returned  home  and  sent  one  of  our  people  to 
the  lake  [meaning  the  Oneida  lake]  to  find  out  whether  the  enemy  were  coming  or  not; 
and  after  he  had  stayed  there  two  days,  the  enemy  arrived  at  the  carrying  place,  and 
sent  word  to  the  castle  at  the  lake,  that  they  were  there,  and  told  them  what  they 
were  going  to  do ;  but  charged  them  not  to  let  us  at  the  upper  castle  know  anything  of 
their  design.  As  soon  as  the  man  I  seut  there  heard  this,  he  came  on  to  us  with  the 
account  that  night,  and  as  soon  as  we  received  it  we  sent  a  belt  of  wampum  to  confirm 
the  truth  thereof,  to  the  Flats,  which  came  here  the  day  before  the  enemy  made  their 
attack ;  but  the  people  would  not  give  credit  to  the  account  even  then,  or  they  might 
have  saved  their  lives.  This  is  the  truth  and  those  Germans  here  present  know  it  to 
be  so." 

The  aforesaid  Germans  did  acknowledge  it  to  he  so,  and  that  they  had  such  intelli- 
gence. Gkorgk  Croguan. 

The  authenticity  of  this  document  is  doubted  by  Judge  Benton,  while 
Mr.  Stone  gave  it  credence  and  at  the  same  time  claims  to  have  other 
evidence  that  the  Palatines  were  promptly  and  properly  warned  of  the 
impendi<ig  attack.  Other  writers  believe  that  the  warning  was  sent, 
but  that  it  was  delivered  in  such  a  manner  as  to  weaken  its  import  in 
the  minds  of  the  settlers.  It  is  a  subject  that  must  be  left  for  the  histor- 
ical student  to  investigate  for  himself  and  form  his  own  conclusions. 

Judge  Benton  sums  up  the  consequences  of  the  deplorable  event  as 
follows:  "These  people  were  then  seated  on  as  fertile  a  spot  as  any  in 
the    State,  had  good  buildings  on  their  farms,  and.  were  generally  rich. 


44  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Their  buildings  and  crops  were  destroyed  by  fire,  and  their  horses,  cat- 
tle, sheep  and  hogs  were  many  of  them  killed.  Some  of  the  people 
were  slain  by  the  marauders  and  nearly  one  hundred  carried  into  cap- 
tivity. The  German  minister  and  a  majority  of  the  inhabitants  who 
followed  him,  saved  themselves  by  going  to  the  fort  on  the  south  side 
of  the  river,  on  the  morning  of  the  attack.  The  enemy  burned  a  grist- 
mill, probably  on  what  is  now  called  Staring's  Creek,  and  a  saw  mill 
within  a  few  miles  of  the  settlement.  There  were  about  twenty  houses 
between  Fort  Kouari  (Herkimer)  and  Fall  Hill  or  Little  Falls,  on  the 
south  side  of  the  river  at  this  time,  and  eight  on  the  north  side,  w  hich 
were  abandoned  for  a  time  when  the  settlement  at  Herkimer  was  de- 
stroyed." 

On  the  30th  of  April,  1758,  the  Palatines  were  ag.iin  attacked  by  a 
large  party  of  Indians  and  a  few  French,  the  assault  being  directed 
against  the  settlement  on  the  south  side  of  the  river,  near  the  fort.  Lieu- 
tenant Blair,  of  the  Rangers,  was  wounded  and  about  thirty  of  the  in- 
habitants were  killed.  It  will  be  of  interest  to  copy  the  follouing  ac- 
count of  this  event  from  the  New  York  Mercury  of  May  22,  1758: 

About  12  o'clock  on  Monday,  the  30th  of  April  last,  an  Oneida  Indian  acquainted 
Captain  Herkimer  that  a  party  of  eighty  Indians  and  four  Frenchmen  were  nigli  his  fort, 
and  would  certainly  come  down  and  attack  the  settlements  that  day,  and  advised  Cap- 
tain Herkimer  to  go  into  the  fort  and  take  as  many  of  the  inhabitants  with  him  as  he 
could  collect.  About  3  o'clock,  most  part  of  the  inhabitants,  having  no^ice  from  Cap- 
lain  Herkimer,  left  their  houses  and  assembled  at  the  fort.  Four  families  that  fled  from 
Henderson's  purchase  in  the  spring  for  fear  of  the  enemy,  could  not  get  in ;  and  had  in 
their  houses  two  Indian  traders  of  the  name  of  Clock,  and  six  wagoners  that  were 
carrying  Captain  Gage's  baggage  to  the  fort.  At  4  o'clock,  all  of  a  sudden,  the  hou.ses 
were  attacked,  and  the  wagoners,  being  surprised,  ran  up  .stairs,  the  better  to  defend 
themselves.  The  Indians  immediately  rushed  into  the  hou.se,  and  killed  and  scalped  all 
that  were  below.  Some  of  the  Indians  attempted  the  stairs,  but  they  were  knocked 
down  by  the  wagoners.  They  then  fired  up  through  the  loft,  and  soon  were  joined  by 
more  Indians,  who  fired  many  shots  quite  through  the  house,  and  proposed  to  set  it  on 
fire;  which  intimidated  John  Bhel,  a  wagoner,  to  such  a  degree  that  he  leaped  out  of  a 
window,  thinking  to  make  his  escape,  but  was  soon  killed.  The  other  five  defended 
themselves  with  great  intrepidity,  having  killed  one  Indian,  until  they  were  relieved 
by  a  party  of  Rangers  who  came  to  their  assistance,  and  after  exchanging  a  few  shots 
the  Indians  fled,  seeing  our  people  had  the  advantage  of  a  log  fence. 

The  Palatines  received  only  about  four  hours'  notice  of  this  attack, 
which  fact,  in  the  opinion  of  Judge    Benton,   tends   to   substantiate  his 


.ft- 


THE  FRENCH  AND  INDIAN  WAR.  45 

theory  that  the  settlement  was  not  properly  warned  of  the  attack  in  the 
previous  year.^ 

The  French  and  Indian  war  closed  with  the  conquest  of  Canada  in 
1760,  and  a  period  of  peace  succeeded,  which  was  most  grateful  to  the 
harassed  Palatines.  Those  wha  had  been  carried  into  captivity  returned 
and  again  took  up  the  cultivation  of  their  farms  and  the  improvement 
of  their  homes.  There  were  at  this  time  nearly  five  hundred  houses  in 
the  Mohawk  valley  between  East  Canada  Creek  and  Sir  William  John- 
son's residence,  and  there  was  rich  promise  of  development  of  the  lo- 
cality. Several  important  Indian  councils  were  held  in  the  valley,  some 
of  them  upon  the  soil  of  Herkimer  county,  between  the  restoration  of 
peace  and  the  period  immediately  preceding  the  outbreak  of  the  Revo- 
lution. 

In  1763  Nova  Scotia,  Canada,  Cape  Breton  and  other  dependencies 
were  ceded  by  France  under  the  treaty  of  Paris,  to  the  British  crown, 
and  the  two  Floridas  by  Spain,  thus  giving  Great  Britain  control  of  the 
entire  North  American  continent.  During  the  preceding  three-quar- 
ters of  a  century,  and  in  spite  of  the  four  destructive  wars,  the  colonies 
had  greatly  developed  and  improved  the  country  as  far  as  the  settle- 
ments extended,  and  were  pushing  with  rapid  strides  their  commercial 
interests.  This  latter  advancement  led  the  mother  country  into  the 
imposition  of  restrictions  that  threatened  to  disturb  trade,  to  the  great 
injury  of  the  colonies;  this,  with  burdensome  taxation  without  repre- 
sentation, finally  led  to  the  revolt  that  culminated  in  the  Revolution. 
It  is  not  the  purpose  of  this  work,  nor  is  there  space  in  its  pages,  to 
follow  in  detail  the  historic  events  that  resulted  in  the  final  declaration 
of  independence;  but  merely  to  briefly  note  the  conditions  that  were 
imposed  upon  this  immediate  locality  by  the  great  struggle  and  the  part 
taken  in  it  by  the  inhabitants  of  the  Mohawk  valley. 

'  The  old  fort  at  German  Flats  was  called  Fort  Herkimer  ;  and  in  1758  was  commanded  by  Colonel 
Charles  Clinton,  father  of  General  James  and  Governor  George  Clinton,  and  grandfather  of  De 
Witt  Clinton,  who  was  a  son  of  General  James  Clinton.  This  officer  marched  from  this  fort  in  the 
summer  of  1758,  under  General  Bradstreet.  to  Oswepo,  and  thence  to  the  siege  of  Fort  Frontenac 
[Kingston,  Canada).  This  expedition  was  completely  successful  ;  the  French  were  not  apprised  at 
their  approach  until  they  saw  them  before  the  walls  of  their  fortress.  Among  the  persons  who 
were  afterward  distinguished,  who  accompanied  General  Bradstreet,  were  Horatio  Gates  [to 
whom  Burgoyne  surrendered],  then  a  captain,  and  Nathaniel  Woodhull,  then  a  major,  afterward 
first  president  of  the  New  York  Provisional  Congress,  and  who  in  the  Revolution  was  a  general 
and  sealed  his  attachment  to  the  caube  of  his  country  with  his  blood. 


46  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

In  the  Revolutionary  VVar,  as  far  as  it  pertained  to  this  part  of  New 
York,  Sir  William  Johnson  exercised  a  greater  influence  than  any  other 
one  person.  His  power  over  the  Indians  was  almost  unbounded,  while 
his  close  adherence  to  the  cause  of  England  made  him  one  to  be  feared 
ill  the  coming  contest.  But  his  influence  was  not  felt  among  the  Pala- 
tines as  it  was  farther  east  in  the  valley  and  nearer  his  home.  Sir 
William  died  on  the  i  j  th  of  July,  1 774,  just  at  the  outbreak  of  the  Revo- 
lution, but  his  mantle  of  partisanship  against  the  colonists  fell  upon  his 
son.  Sir  John  Johnson,  and  his  nephew,  Guy  Johnson,  and  they  ex- 
erted all  their  powerful  influence  to  hold  the  allegianceof  the  Indians  to 
the  cause  of  England.  At  the  same  time,  it  was  only  a  natural  result 
of  such  a  tremendous  overthrow  of  government  and  its  established 
usages  and  institutions,  that  there  should  be  partisans.  The  epithet  of 
"tory"  has  come  down  to  us  of  to-day  surrounded  with  an  atmosphere 
of  obloquy  and  opprobrium  which,  perhaps,  it  scarcely  deserves.  The 
very  principle  of  free  speech,  thought  and  action,  which  underlies  the 
government  that  was  established  by  the  patriots  in  the  Revolution, 
would  seem  to  have  given  the  individual  of  that  trying  period  a  certain 
right  to  choose  as  to  the  direction  which  his  allegiance  should  take.  This 
would  surely  be  true,  were  it  not  that  the  provocation  meted  out  to  the 
colonists  was  unbearable.  The  tory  was  the  patriot  in  the  eyes  of  the 
mother  country,  while  the  patriot  colonist  was  the  rebel  of  that  govern- 
ment. This  is  not  advanced  in  mitigation  of  many  barbarous  deeds  by 
tories  and  Indians  against  the  suffering  settlers  in  America;  but  because 
it  may  be  better  to  forget,  under  the  softening  influence  of  time,  the 
animosities  and  differences  that  could  not  fail  to  be  stirred  into  life  during 
such  a  struggle  as  our  Revolution.  But  whatever  the  opinion  enter- 
tained on  this  point,  it  can  be  truthfully  recorded  that  very  few  of  the 
Palatines  are  known  to  have  abandoned  their  homes  and  followed  the 
fortunes  of  the  Johnsons.  If  promises  were  held  out  to  them  as  induce- 
ment toward  such  a  course,  they  were  generally  futile.  They  had  not 
forgotten  the  scenes  of  November,  1757,  and  April,  1758,  when  they 
were  left  on  an  unprotected  frontier,  by  those  who,  possibly,  might  have 
given  them  succor,  to  the  destruction  and  bloodshed  that  followed  in 
the  wake  of  a  savage  foe.  And  they  also  had  loftier  motives  to  guide 
their  actions  and  control  them  in   the   course  they  should  pursue  in  the 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  47 

contest.  They  well  knew  the  miseries  of  serfdom,  a  concomitant  of 
regal  power  and  the  rule  of  one  man.  They  appreciated  the  sentiment 
that  man  ought  not  to  be  burdened  unjustly  without  his  consent;  and 
exposed  as  they  were,  and  suffer  as  they  undoubtedly  knew  they  must 
in  the  coming  struggle,  they  still  embraced  with  zeal  the  cause  of  the 
colonies  against  the  mother  country  and  held  out  firmly  to  the  end. 


CHAPTER  IV. 

THE    REVOLUTIONARY    PERIOD. 

THROUGH  the  influence  of  Sir  William  Johnson,  Tryon  county  was 
formed  in  1772,  with  Johnstown,  Fulton  county,  as  the  county  seat, 
where  a  court-house  and  jail  were  soon  erected.  At  the  formation  of 
the  new  county  there  were  probably  about  10,000  inhabitants,  most  of 
whom  were  settled  along  the  Mohawk.  The  county  embraced  all  of 
the  State  west  of  a  line  running  due  north  from  the  Delaware  River 
through  what  is  now  Schoharie  county,  and  along  the  eastern  limits  of 
the  present  counties  of  Montgomery,  Fulton  and  Hamilton,  to  the  Ca- 
nadian line.  Instead  of  townships,  this  large  territory  was  divided  into 
five  districts,  the  easternmost  one  being  named  Mohawk  ;  this  embraced 
the  territory  between  the  eastern  line  of  the  county  and  a  line  running 
parallel  thereto  crossing  the  Mohawk  at  the  "  Noses."  The  Stone 
Arabia  district  extended  indefinitely  northward  from  the  river  between 
the  Mohawk  district  on  the  east  and  on  the  west  from  a  line  running 
north  and  south  through  the  State  crossing  the  river  at  Little  Falls. 
With  the  same  breadth,  the  Canajoharie  district  reached  southward  to 
the  Pennsylvania  line.  North  of  the  Mohawk  River  and  west  of  the 
Stone  Arabia  district,  as  far  as  settlements  extended,  was  the  Kingsland 
district;  while  south  of  the  river,  extending  westward  from  the  Canajo- 
harie district  to  the  meridian  of  Fort  Stanwix,  and  southerly  to  the  Penn- 
sylvania line,  was  the  German  Flats  district.  One  year  after  the  for- 
mation of  these  districts,  the  name  of  Stone  Arabia  district  was  changed 
to  Palatine.     The  inhabitants  of  the  districts  elected  on  the  first  Tues- 


48  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

day  in  the  year,  a  supervisor,  two  assessors  and  one  collector  for  each 
district.  Courts  and  civil  officers  were  provided,  and  the  first  court  in 
the  county  was  held  at  Johnstown  on  Tuesday,  September  8,  1772. 

There  was  not,  perhaps,  in  the  whole  country  during  the  period  just 
preceding  the  Revolution  a  section  of  the  frontier  where  a  deeper  and 
more  active  interest  was  shown  in'the  affairs  and  prospects  of  the  colonies, 
than  in  the  Mohawk  valley.  This  was  necessarily  the  case,  on  account 
of  the  intense  partisanship  of  the  Johnsons  combined  with  their  great 
power  over  the  Indians  on  the  one  hand,  and  on  the  other  the  patriotic 
loyalty  to  the  colonists  of  the  Dutch  in  the  lower  valley  and  the  Pala- 
tines farther  west.  Sir  William  Johnson  had  not  been  dead  two  months 
when  a  public  meeting  was  held  in  the  Palatine  district  at  which  a  series 
of  resolutions  was  adopted  warmly  commendatory  of  the  blessings  to  be 
derived  from  the  British  government  and  extolling  the  duty  of  every 
person  in  submitting  to  whatever  restrictions  and  burdens  the  crown  saw 
fit  to  impose.  Then  followed  the  Declaration  of  Rights  by  the  Conti- 
nental Congress  in  September,  1774,  and  the  battle  of  Lexington,  as  it  is 
termed,  in  the  spring  of  1775.  The  news  of  this  event  was  received  in 
Johnstown  during  a  session  of  the  court.  The  loyalists  thereupon  under- 
took a  demonstration  against  the  Colonial  Congress  by  circulating  a 
declaration  disapproving  of  the  proceedings  of  that  body  in  the  preced- 
ing autumn.  After  much  altercation  the  signatures  of  a  majority  of  the 
county  officials  were  obtained  to  the  declaration,  which  proceeding 
threw  the  Whigs  into  a  fever  of  excitement  and  indignation.  They 
called  public  meetings  and  appointed  committees,  and  adopted  an  article 
of  association  endorsing  the  action  of  Congress  and  pledging  the  signers 
to  its  support. 

It  soon  became  apparent  that  the  Johnsons  and  their  allies  were  not 
only  loyalists  of  the  most  determined  character,  but  that  they  would 
attempt  the  suppression  of  all  patriotic  demonstration  in  the  countJ^ 
In  view  of  this  condition  of  affairs  the  Palatine  committee  met  on  the 
19th  of  May,  1775,  and  addressed  a  letter  to  the  committee  at  Albany, 
in  which  they  represented  their  circumstances,  stating  that  Johnson 
Hall  was  fortified  and  armed  ;  that  Colonel  Johnson  had  stopped  two 
New  England  men  passing  up  the  valley  and  searched  them  ;  recom- 
mending that  no  ammunition  be  sent  up  the   valley   except   under   the 


^. 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  4J> 

inspection  of,  and  consigned  to,  the  committee,  to  be  given  out  to  such 
shopkeepers  as  they  should  approve  and  concluding  :  "  In  a  word,  gentle- 
men, it  is  our  fixed  resolve  to  support  and  carry  into  execution  every- 
thing recommended  by  the  Continental  Congress,  and  to  be  free  or 
die."  That  expression  bears  the  true  ring  of  patriotism  and  shows 
clearly  the  attitude  of  the  majority  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  valley. 

In  Campbell's  "  Annals  of  Tryon  County  "  the  date  of  the  first  united 
meeting  of  the  county  committee  is  given  as  June  2,  1775,  with  the 
following  as  the  names  of  the  committee  : 

From  the  Palatine  district :  Cliri.stopher  P.  Yates,  John  Frey,  Andrew  Fink,  Andrew 
Reiber,  Peter  Waggoner,  Daniel  McDougal,  Jacob  Klock,  George  Ecker,  Jun.,  Harma- 
nus  Van  Slyck,  Christopher  W.  Fox,  Anthony  Van  Veghten  ;  11. 

From  the  Cana)oharie  district :  Nicholas  Herkimer,  Ebenezer  Cox,  William  Seeber, 
John  Moore,  Samuel  Campbell,  Samuel  Clyde,  Thomas  Henry,  John  Pickard ;  8. 

From  the  Kingsland  and  German  Flats  districts:  Edward  Wall,  William  Petry,  John 
Petry,  Augustine  Hess,  Frederick  Orendorf,  George  Wentz,  Michael  Ittig,  Frederick 
Fox,  George  He.-kimer,  Duncan  McDougal,  Frederick  Helmer,  and  John  Frink;   12. 

From  the  Mohawk  district:  John  iVlorlett,  John  Bliven,  Abraham  Van  Home,  Adam 
Fonda,  Frederick  Fisher,  Sampson  Simmons,  William  Schuyler,  Volkert  Veeder,  James 
McMaster  and  Daniel  Lane;   10.     In  all,  41. 

Previous  to  the  above  named  meeting  the  Mohawk  delegates  had  been 
influenced  by  the  Johnsons  against  attending  the  committee  gatherings. 
Such  was  the  case  on  the  24th  of  May,  when  all  the  committees  met, 
excepting  Mohawk,  and  unanimously  approved  of  the  previous  action 
of  the  Palatine  committee,  and  voted  that  Daniel  McDougall,  for  Pala- 
tine district,  David  Cox  for  Canajoharie,  and  Edward  Wall  and  Duncan 
McDougall  for  German  Flats  and  Kingsland,  be  sent  to  Sclienectady 
and  Albany  to  confer  with  the  committees  of  those  places  upon  the  sit- 
uation, and  to  procure  ammunition,  etc.  Meanwhile  Guy  Johnson  was 
secretly  active  in  inciting  the  Indians  to  keep  alive  their  memory  of  Sir 
William  and  to  hold  themselves  ready  to  protect  himself  and  his  property. 
He  undoubtedly  early  saw  his  impending  doom.  At  the  meeting  of 
June  2,  above  mentioned,  a  long  letter,  written  in  a  spirit  of  patriotic 
and  dignified  protest  against  his  disloyal  acts  and  maintaining  the  position 
of  the  committees,  was  prepared  and  forwarded  to  Johnson.  This  drew 
from  him  a  reply  in  which  he  mildly  deprecated  the  unconstitutional 
means  taken  by  the   colonists  to   redress   their   wrongs  ;  excusing  the 


50  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

fortification  of  his  house  by  his  fears  of  actual  danger  to  himself;  deny- 
ing that  he  had  stopped  any  travelers,  and  closing  with  the  assurance 
that  he  should  always  be  glad  to  promote  their  true  interests.  But  his 
acts  belied  his  words.  He  went  first  to  Fort  Stanwix  and  thence  to 
Ontario  and  Oswego,  where  he  held  councils  with  the  Indians  and 
further  secured  their  promised  devotion  to  the  king  through  gifts  and 
rewards.  He  finally  repaired  to  Montreal  where  he  remained  through 
the  war,  continuing  the  discharge  of  his  duties  as  Indian  agent  and  de- 
voting himself  indirectly  to  the  destruction  of  the  people  of  whom  lie 
had  written  that  he  "  should  always  be  glad  to  promote  their  true  iii- 
erests." 

In  their  alarming  situation,  especially  as  regarded  the  attitude  of  the 
Six  Nations,  the  colonists  made  earnest  efforts  to  dissuade  them  from 
joining  in  the  approaching  struggle.  These  efforts  were  successful  only 
with  a  large  part  of  the  Oneidas  and  the  Tuscaroras.  The  last 
council  held  before  the  war  was  convened  at  Albany  August  23-3 1, 
1775,  and  although  some  assurance  was  then  obtained  from  the  Indians 
that  they  would  remain  neutral,  it  was  not  many  months  before  the 
great  body  of  the  Mohawks,  Onondagas,  Cayugas  and  Senecas  evinced 
their  attachment  to  the  royal  cause.  Following  the  flight  of  Guy  John- 
son, the  colonists  found  it  necessary  to  keep  a  close  watch  upon  the 
movements  of  Sir  John.  He  was  surrounded  by  a  large  body  of  tories 
and  Indians  and  left  no  means  untried  to  harass  and  annoy  the  settlers. 
As  a  last  resort  the  Tryon  county  committee  resolved  to  make  him 
speak  out  his  intentions  and  hold  him  responsible  for  his  utterances. 
They  accordingly  addressed  a  letter  to  him,  over  the  signature  of 
Nicholas  Herkimer,  which  contained  the  following  paragraph  : 

We  want  to  know  whether  you  will  allow  that  the  inhabitants  of  Johnstown  and 
Kingsboi'oiigh  may  form  themselves  into  companies  according  to  the  regulations  of  our 
Continental  Congress,  for  the  defense  of  our  country's  cause  ;  and  whether  your  honor 
would  be  ready  himself  to  give  his  personal  assistance  to  the  same  purpose. 

Sir  John's  reply  left  no  doubt  resting  upon  his  sentiments,  at  least. 
It  was  thus  reported  to  the  committee  by  the  messengers  who  conveyed 
their  inquiries  : 

In  regard  of  embodying  his  tenants  into  companies,  he  never  did  forbid  them,  neither 
should  do  it,  as  they  may  use  their  pleasure ;  but  we  might  save  ourselves  the  trouble, 
he  being  sure  they  would  not. 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  51 

Concerning  himself,  he  said  that  before  he  would  sign  any  association,  or  would  lift 
his  hand  up  against  his  king,  he  would  rather  suffer  that  his  head  shall  be  cut  off. 

Sir  John  continued  hi.s  military  preparations  about  Johnson  Hall,  and 
succeeded  in  keeping  the  inhabitants  of  the  county  in  continual  alarm. 
The  activity  and  growing  boldness  of  the  tories  led  to  the  issuance  of  an 
order  by  Congress  to  General  Sciiuyler  in  January,  1776,  directing  him 
to  take  steps  to  captur-  the  materials  of  war  reported  as  stored  at  Johns- 
town and  disarm  the  tories.  With  about  700  men  General  Schuyler 
proceeded  toward  Johnstown.  At  Guy  Park,  some  miles  east  of  Johns- 
town, Sir  John  and  a  party  of  his  followers  were  encountered.  The 
baronet  was  at  first  disposed  to  assume  a  belligerent  attitude,  but  he 
was  soon  convinced  of  a  better  course  and  asked  for  twenty-four  hours 
for  consideration.  This  was  granted  and  he  returned  to  the  Hall.  From 
Caughnawaga,  whither  General  Schuyler  had  marched,  and  where  he 
had  met  General  Herkimer  and  the  militia,  an  ultimatum  was  sent  to 
Sir  John.  He  was  permitted  to  retain  some  family  arms  and  allowed 
certain  liberty  in  prescribed  limits  in  the  eastern  part  of  the  State.  To 
this  he  agreed,  but  his  continued  violation  of  the  compact  and  renewed 
evidences  of  his  hostility  to  the  cause  led  General  Schuyler  to  the  con- 
clusion that  the  only  proper  and  safe  course  was  to  place  him  under 
arrest.  An  expedition  was  sent  out  in  May  for  this  purpose  and  to  quell 
all  disaffection  about  Johnstown.  Sir  John  received  information  of  this 
movement  and  he  fled  with  his  retainers  to  Canada,  where  he  accepted 
a  commission  as  colonel  in  tlie  British  arm\'  and  formed  two  battalions 
of  "  Royal  Greens"  from  the  tories  who  had  accompanied  him.  They 
became  the   bitterest  enemies  with  whom   the   patriots  had  to  contend. 

After  the  departure  of  Sir  John  and  his  band,  who  were  subsequently 
followed  by  other  parties  of  tories,  this  class  of  persons  made  no  further 
hostile  demonstrations  in  the  county. 

Returning  to  the  subject  of  military  affairs  in  the  county  in  1775,  the 
committee  of  safety  organized  the  militia  of  the  county  into  four  battal- 
ions and  on  the  26th  of  August  transmitted  the  return,  through  Nicho- 
las Herkimer,  the  chairman,  to  the  general  committee  of  safety,  then  in 
session  in  New  York,  by  whom  it  was  approved  on  the  6th  of  Septem- 
ber. Following  is  a  list  of  field  officers  of  the  four  battalions  who  were 
nominated  in  each  district  : 


52  HISTORY  Q¥  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

First  battalion  Canajoharie  district. — Nicholas  Herkheimer,  colonel;  Ebenezer  Cox, 
lieutenant-colonel ;   Robert  Wells,  major  ;  Samuel  Clyde,  adjutant. 

Second  battalion,  Palatine  district. — Jacob  Clock,  colonel;  Peter  Waggoner,  lieuten- 
ant-colonel;  Harmanus  Van  Slyck,  major;  V.  Vechten,  adjutant. 

Third  battalion,  Mohawk  district. — Frederick  Fisher,  colonel;  Adam  Fonda,  lieuten- 
ant-colonel ;  John  Bliven,  major ;  Robert  Yates,  adjutant. 

Fourth  battalion,  German  Flats  and  Kingsland. — Hanyoost  Herkheimer,  colonel ; 
Peter  Bellinger,  lieutenant-colonel ;  Hanyoost  Shoemaker,  major  ;  John  Demooth,  ad- 
jutant. 

The  following  are  the  names  of  the  other  officers  of  the  fourth  bat- 
talion : 

1st  company. — John  Eisenlord,  captain;  John  Keyser,  1st  lieutenant ;  Adam  Bellin- 
ger, 2d  lieutenant;  John  Smith,  er.sign. 

2d  company.— John  Petry,  captain;  Hanyoost  Mx.  Petry,  1st  lieutenant;  Hanyoo.«t 
H.  Petry,  2d  lieutenant ;  William  Empie,  ensign. 

3d  company. — Daniel  Petry,  captain  ;  Peter  Volts,  1st  lieutenant ;  Marx  Raspach, 
2d  lieutenant ;  George  Helmer,  ensign. 

4th  company.— Frederick  Bellinger,  captain;  Henry  Herter,  1st  lieutenant;  John 
Demooth,  2d  lieutenant;   Peter  Ja.  Weaver,  ensign. 

5th  company. — Peter  Bellinger,  captain ;  Jacob  Baschawn,  1st  lieutenant  ;  Nicholas 
Staring,  2d  lieutenant;  John  P.  Bellinger,  ensign. 

6th  company. — Hanyoost  Herkheimer,  captain  ;  Frederick  Ahrendorf,  1st  lieutenant; 
Tinus  Clapsaddle,  2d  lieutenant. 

7th  company. — Rudolph  Shoemaker,  captain  ;  Deiterick  Stale,  1st  lieutenant ;  Freder 
ick  Shoemaker,  2d  lieutenant. 

8th  company. — George  Herkheimer,  captain;  Frederick  Fox,  1st  lieutenant;  Archi 
bald  Armstrong,  2d  lieutenant;   Hanyoost  Tygert,  ensign. 

9th  company. — William  Tygert,  captain;  Jacob  Volts,  1st  lieutenant ;  George  Wenis, 
2d  lieutenant;  Frederick  Frank,  ensign. 

By  a  vote  of  the  committee,  Nicholas  Herkimer  was  appointed  "Chief 
Colonel,  Commander  for  the  County  of  Tryon." 

The  year  1777  produced  a  series  of  events  of  remarkable  historical 
importance  to  the  people  of  the  Mohawk  valley.  In  the  spring  an  in- 
vasion was  threatened  by  a  large  force  of  Indians  under  the  famous 
Brant.  He  was  met  at  Unadilla  by  General  Herkimer,  with  whom  he 
had  been  on  friendly  terms.  The  interview  was  beset  with  danger  and 
a  conflict  was  narrowly  escaped  ;  but  it  closed  without  practical  results, 
and  Brant  returned  down  the  Susquehanna. 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  53 

On  the  3d  of  August  (  1777)  Fort  Schuyler  was  invested  by  Colonel 
St.  Leger,  with  a  force  of  1,700  men.  The  approach  of  this  attack  was 
communicated  to  Colonel  Gansevoort  and  the  authorities  of  Tryon  coun- 
ty by  the  friendly  Oneida  Indians.  The  American  force  at  the  fort  was 
seven  hundred  and  fifty  men,  and  the  supply  of  ammunition  was  deficient. 
The  first  news  of  the  proposed  siege  of  Fort  Schuyler  seems  to  have 
thrown  the  inhabitants  of  the  valley  into  needless  alarm  which  became 
almost  a  panic — a  condition  justified  only  by  their  unprotected  situation 
and  the  probability  that  they  could  receive  little  assistance  beyond  their 
own  efforts.  On  the  17th  of  July  General  Herkimer  issued  a  proclama- 
tion announcing  that  2,000  "  Christians  and  savages  "  had  assembled  at 
Oswego  for  a  descent  upon  the  Mohawk  valley,  and  warning  the  people 
to  be  ready  at  a  moment's  notice  to  take  the  field  against  the  enemy,  the 
men  from  sixteen  to  sixty  for  active  service,  and  the  aged  and  infirm  to 
defend  the  women  and  children.  Of  the  immediate  subsequent  opera- 
tions Judge  Benton  wrote  as  follows  :  "  As  soon  as  the  approach  of  St. 
Leger  to  Fort  Schuyler  was  known  in  Tryon  county,  General  Herkimer 
ordered  the  militia  of  his  brigade  to  rendezvous  at  Fort  Dayton  ( theh 
called  German  Flats  ).  This  defense  was  erected  in  the  western  part  of 
Herkimer  village,  and  the  general  soon  found  himself  at  the  head  of 
about  nine  hundred  men,  composed  of  the  three  militia  regiments  conv 
manded  by  Colonels  Klock,  Cox,  Vischer  and  some  others,  with  volun- 
teers of  officers  and  men  from  various  parts  of  the  country.  The  pub- 
lished accounts  of  the  forces  collected  under  General  Herkimer  on  this 
occasion  do  not  designate  the  localities  from  which  the  several  regiments 
were  drawn  ;  enough  is  known,  however,  to  warrant  the  assertion  that 
the  militia  of  the  German  Flats  and  Kingsiand  district  were  attached  to 
the  regiment  commanded  by  Colonel  Peter  Bellinger,  whose  lieutenant- 
colonel  was  Frederick  Bellinger ;  major,  Enos  Klepsattle.  The  militia 
of  these  districts  participated  in  the  battle  of  Oriskany.  The  alacrity 
and  zeal  evinced  on  this  occasion  should  have  entirely  eradicated  all 
impressions  unfavorable  to  the  patriotic  devotion  of  the  inhabitants  of 
the  valley,  growing  out  of  the  expression  of  despondency  in  the  early 
part  of  the  year.  Surely  after  this  no  one  could  complain  of  German 
disloyalty  to  the  cause  of  the  colonists.  General  Herkimer  left  Fort 
Dayton  on  the  4th  of  August,  and  encamped  near  the  Oriskany  on  the 


54  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

5th,  crossing  the  Mohawk  river  at  old  Fort  Schuyler  (  now  Utica  )  on  the 
march  up.  At  this  point  the  general  expressed  his  doubts  of  the  ex- 
pediency of  a  forward  movement,  until  reinforcements  should  arrive,  or 
the  prearranged  signal  should  be  given  by  Colonel  Gansevoort  from  the 
fort.  An  express,  Adam  Helmer  and  two  other  men,  had  been  dis- 
patched to  the  fort,  informing  the  commandant  of  the  general's  approach, 
and  to  arrange  matters  of  co-operation.  The  messengers  did  not  reach 
the  fort  until  ten  or  eleven  o'clock  in  the  morning  of  the  6th.  Three 
successive  discharges  of  heavy  ordnance  was  the  signal  agreed  on,  an- 
nouncing the  arrival  of  the  express  ;  the  reports  of  which,  it  was  assumed, 
could  be  heard  at  Herkimer's  encampment,  eight  miles  distant  from  the 
fort.  Recriminatory  and  insubordinate  language  was  used  on  the  occa- 
sion, and  the  general  was  denounced  to  his  face  as  a  tory  and  coward  ; 
who  replied,  that  their  safety  was  in  his  hands,  and  he  desired  to  avoid 
all  difficulties  that  could  not  be  surmounted  by  bravery  and  good  con- 
duct. On  this  occasion  the  general  told  some  of  his  subordinates,  who 
had  been  noisy  and  liberal  in  their  accusations  of  his  fidelity  and  cour- 
age, that  they  would  be  the  first  to  run  on  the  approacli  of  the  enemy  ; 
which  was  soon  verified  to  the  very  letter. 

"  All  previous  accounts  had  fixed  St.  Leger's  forces  at  2,ooo  strong, 
nearly  half  of  which  were  Indians  led  by  Brant,  a  brave,  active  and 
artful  Mohawk  sachem.  Herkimer  knew  this,  and  he  no  doubt  believed, 
as  well  he  might,  that  a  force  superior  to  his  own  could  be  sent  against 
him,  which  would  select  its  own  battlefield,  without  in  any  way  inter- 
fering with  the  investment  of  the  fort.  But  noisy  insubordination  pre- 
vailed, and  precipitated  the  little  band  of  patriots  into  the  jaws  of  death. 
Smarting  under  the  repeated  accusations  heaped  upon  him,  and  irritated 
no  doubt,  the  general  gave  orders  to  take  up  the  line  of  march,  which 
was  received  with  cheers  by  the  men,  who  proceeded  rapidly  on  their 
way,  two  deep,  having  thrown  out  the  usual  advanced  and  flanking 
parties. 

"At  lo  o'clock  on  the  6th  the  main  body  of  troops  passed  over  a 
causeway  on  a  marshy  ravine,  the  advance  having  commenced  an  ascent 
of  the  westerly  slope,  when  a  well  directed  fire  from  the  enemy,  in  front 
and  on  both  flanks,  accompanied  with  the  dismal  Indian  war-whoop, 
unfolded  to  the  .American  fjeneral  that  his  division  had  become  involved 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  •      55 

in  an  almost  inextricable  ambuscade.  Retreat  was  impossible,  for  the 
causeway  over  the  marsh  was  already  blocked  up  with  teams;  and  the 
rear  guard,  just  commencing  the  descent  of  the  eastern  declivity,  com- 
manded by  one  of  the  officers  who  in  the  morning  had  taunted  his  gen- 
eral with  cowardice,  turned  and  fled  on  the  first  fire  of  the  enemy.  But 
flight  did  not  save  them  from  the  fate  that  awaited  their  comrades  on  the 
west  side  of  the  ravine;  the  enemy,  knowing  well  the  ground,  had  gained 
the  rear,  and  shot  down  the  fugitives  as  they  ran  away  from  their  com- 
panions. As  might  well  be  expected,  the  suddenness  of  the  attack  and 
the  intensity  of  the  enemy's  fire,  not  only  produced  great  disorder 
among  the  provincials,  but  annihilation  seemed  almost  inevitable  for  a 
time. 

"  In  this  disorder  the  conflict  raged  about  half  an  hour,  when  the 
Americans  formed  themselves  into  circular  squads,  the  more  effectually 
to  repel  the  attacks  of  the  enemy,  who  were  steadily  approaching  on 
all  sides;  and,  from  this  moment,  resistance  became  more  effective.  The 
enemy  then  charged  with  bayonet,  but  they  were  met  by  brave  hearts 
and  strong  arms,  and  thus  the  battle  raged,  until  the  parties  were  com- 
pelled to  desist  by  a  heavy  shower  of  rain,  which  raged  with  great  fury 
more  than  an  hour.  The  enemy  sought  the  best  shelter  they  could 
find,  at  a  good  distance  from  the  provincials,  when  the  latter,  under  the 
directions  of  their  general,  occupied  a  favorable  piece  of  ground,  and 
then  so  formed  themselves  as  to  be  able  to  repel  an  attack  from  any 
quarter.  The  fight  was  renewed,  but  the  Indians,  suffering  severely 
by  the  deadly  fire  of  the  militia,  began  to  give  ground,  when  a  detach- 
ment of  Johnson's  Greens,  composed  chiefly  of  loyalists  who  had  fled 
from  Tryon  county,  were  brought  into  action  face  to  face  with  many  of 
their  former  neighbors.  Then  mutual  hate  and  revenge  raged  with  un- 
speakable intensity  between  the  combatants,  and  the  conflict  now  be- 
came, if  possible,  more  a  death  struggle  than  ever. 

"  In  the  mean  time,  while  the  battle  was  the  most  fierce,  a  firing  was 
heard  in  the  direction  of  the  fort;  no  unwelcome  sound,  as  may  well  be 
supposed,  to  the  handful  of  surviving  provincials,  nor  very  gratifying  to 
the  enemy.  During  the  conflict  at  the  Oriskany,  a  well  conducted 
sortie  from  the  fort,  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Willett,  was  made 
upon  the  forces  under  St.  Leger,  for  the  purpose  of  drawing  the  enemy's 


56  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  CODNTT. 

attention  to  the  preservation  of  their  camp  in  that  direction.  This  was 
well  understood  by  the  provincials,  and  in  it  they  saw  great  hope  of  de- 
liverance. This  was  not  a  fight  suited  to  the  taste  of  savages,  who  found 
their  numbers  fast  diminishing,  nor  could  such  a  contest  be  long  main- 
tained with  much  hope  of  survivorship  by  either  party,  '  Oouah,'  the 
retreating  cry  of  the  Indians,  was  heard  in  the  distance,  and  their  flight 
commenced  with  a  salute  of  shouts  and  bullets  from  the  surviving  pro- 
vincials. The  Greens  and  Rangers  soon  followed  the  example  of  their 
illustrious  allies  by  a  precipitate  retreat,  abandoning  their  dead  and 
wounded,  and  the  deeply  crimsoned  battlefield  in  the  undisputed  pos- 
session of  the  Tryon  county  militia.  Was  this  a  victory,  or  a  defeat  of 
the  provincials?  By  all  the  laws  of  war,  they  are  victors  who  remain 
masters  of  the  battle-ground.  The  American  report  gave  the  number 
of  provincial  militia  killed,  two  hundred,  besides  the  wounded  and  pris- 
oners. The  British  accounts  state  the  killed  at  four  hundred,  and  two 
hundred  prisoners,  making  in  all  six  hundred,  besides  the  wounded. 
Now  in  modern  warfare,  and  in  the  severest  battles,  the  wounded  are 
more  than  two  to  one  of  the  killed,  say  nothing  about  prisoners.  The 
British  accounts  do  not  claim  there  was  over  one  thousand  militia  on 
the  march  at  this  time  to  raise  the  siege  of  Fort  Schuyler.  Surely  four 
hundred  killed,  eight  hundred  wounded  and  two  hundred  prisoners,  out 
of  one  thousand,  is  making  sad  havoc  in  the  fighting  line.  But  this  is 
not  so ;  and  St.  Leger,  when  he  gave  this  statement  of  killed  and 
prisoners  to  General  Burgoyne,  was  indulging  not  a  little  in  the  M.  de 
Belletre  vein. 

"The  battle  was  a  severe  one.  The  severest,  perhaps,  for  the  num- 
ber engaged,  that  took  place  during  the  whole  Revolutionary  War. 
And  from  the  character  of  the  combatants,  the  surprise,  and  the  disad- 
vantages under  which  the  provincials  labored  during  the  whole  six 
hours'  conflict,  the  proportion  of  the  killed  to  the  wounded  must  have 
been  greatly  beyond  what  ordinarily  occurs  in  the  hardest  actions,  where 
firearms  are  used  as  the  principal  weapon  of  assault  and  defense. "^ 

In  his  account  of  the  battle  of  Oriskany  published  in  1877,  William 
L.  Stone  gives  the  following  list  of  officers  of  the  Tryon  county  militia 
who  were  killed  or  wounded  in  the  engagement: 

1  For  sketch  of  General  Herkimer,  see  later  pages. 


THE  REVOLUTIONARy  PERIOD.  57 

In  Colonel  Visscher's  regiment,  Captains  John  Davis  and  Samuel  Pettingill,  killed  ; 
Major  Blauvelt  and  Lieutenant  Groat,  taken  prisoners  and  never  afterwards  heard  of; 
Captain  Jacob  Gardinier  and  Lieutenant  Samuel  Gardinier,  wounded.  In  Colonel  Ja- 
cob Klock's  regiment,  Major  John  Eisenlord  and  Major  Van  Slyck  (Palatine  district) 
and  Captain  Andrew  Dillenback  (Palatine  district),  killed;  Captain  Christopher  Fox 
and  John  Breadbeg  ( Palatine  district),  wounded;  Brigade  Major  John  Frey  (Palatine 
district),  wounded  and  prisoner.  In  Colonel  Peter  Bellinger's  regiment.  Major  Enos 
Klapsattle,  Captain  Frederick  Helmer,  and  Lieutenant  Petrie  (  all  of  German  Flats), 
killed;  Lieutenant-colonel  Frederick  Bellinger  and  Henry  Walradt  (German  Flats), 
prisoners.  In  Colonel  Ebenezer  Cox's  regiment,  Colonel  Cox  and  Lieutenant-colonel 
Hunt  (Canajoharie  district),  killed;  Capl.nins  Henry  Dievendorff,  Robert  Grouse  and 
Jacob  Bowman  (  all  of  Canajoharie  district),  killed  ;  Captain  Jacob  Seeber  and  Lieu- 
tenant William  Seeber  (  both  of  Canajoharie  district),  mortally  wounded.  The  sur- 
geon, Moses  Younglove,  was  taken  prisoner.  Among  the  volunteers  not  belonging  to 
the  militia,  who  were  killed,  were  Isaac  Paris  (Palatine  district),  Samuel  Billington 
(Palatine  district ),  John  Dygert  and  Jacob  Snell  (Manheim). 

Colonel  Gansevoort  refused  to  surrender  Fort  Schuyler  on  any  terms 
offered  by  St.  Leger,  and  the  latter  undoubtedly  feared  the  consequences 
of  prolonged  delay  after  the  battle  of  Oriskany.  An  effort  was  there- 
fore made  by  Sir  John  Johnson  and  Colonels  Claus  and  John  Butler, 
who  were  among  the  besiegers,  to  detach  the  inhabitants  of  the  valley 
from  the  patriot  cause  by  sending  emissaries  among  them  with  incen- 
diary proclamations.  Knowledge  of  a  secret  meeting  of  tories  to  be  held 
at  the  house  of  a  Mr.  Shoemaker  reached  Colonel  Weston  at  Fort  Day- 
ton, who  immediately  sent  a  party  and  surprised  and  captured  Lieuten- 
ant Walter  N.  Butler,  of  St.  Leger's  army,  with  twenty  eight  soldiers 
and  Indians,  who  had  come  to  German  Flats  on  a  mission  from  Sir  John 
Johnson.  Butler  was  tried  as  a  spy  and  sentenced  to  death,  but  was 
reprieved  and  sent  to  Albany  as  a  prisoner.  He  finally  made  his  escape 
and  became  one  of  the  most  dastardly  and  bloodthirsty  tories  of  his 
time.     His  final  fate  is  noticed  a  little  further  on. 

The  American  General  Arnbld  arrived  at  Fort  Dayton  about  the  mid- 
dle of  August,  at  which  point  troops  were  gathering  with  the  purpose 
of  relieving  Fort  Schuyler.  Arnold  issued  a  proclamation  to  counter- 
act the  efforts  of  Johnson  and  Claus  on  the  20th  of  August,  and  on  the 
23d  left  Fort  Dayton  with  his  soldiers,  determined  to  risk  a  battle  with 
the  superior  numbers  of  the  enemy  at  Fort  Schuyler.  After  half  a 
day's  march  he  met  a  courier  from  Colonel  Gansevoort  with  the  news 
that  the  siege  was  raised.     This  happy  result  was  accomplished  through 


5S  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

a  ruse  devised  by  General  Arnold,  in  which  an  ignorant  and  half-witted 
person  named  Han  Yost  Schuyler  who  leaned  towards  the  tory  element 
and  was  captured  with  the  others  at  Shoemaker's  house,  was  the  active 
instrument.  He  had  been  sentenced  to  death,  but  upon  intercession  by 
his  mother  and  brother,  it  was  stipulated  that  liis  life  would  be  spared 
if  he  would  proceed  to  St.  Leger's  headquarters  in  company  with  a 
friendly  Oneida  Indian,  and  find  some  way  to  so  alarm  the  enemy  that 
they  would  retreat.  Han  Yost  gladly  accepted  the  mission  and  left  his 
brother  Nicholas  as  a  hostage.  Schuyler's  wits  were  sharpened  by  his 
danger,  and  he  cunningly  fired  numerous  holes  in  his  garments  to  in- 
dicate that  he  had  fled  for  his  life,  and  started  with  the  Indian  for  St. 
Leger's  camp.  He  went  by  one  road  and  the  Indian  by  a  different  one, 
it  being  arranged  that  they  should  not  recognize  each  other  when  they 
met.  Being  well  known  as  a  loyalist,  the  ignorant  German  found  will- 
ing listeners  in  the  British  officers,  and  he  soon  impressed  them  with 
the  danger  of  continuing  the  siege.  The  Indian  corroborated  the  story, 
and  the  effect  was  all  that  could  have  been  desired  ;  the  army  retreated, 
accompanied  as  far  as  Wood  Creek  by  Han  Yost,  who  then  left  them 
and  returned  to  Fort  Schuyler  the  same  evening.  The  commander  of 
the  fort  was  then  able  for  the  first  time  to  understand  the  sudden  de- 
parture of  the  enemy. '^ 

The  remainder  of  the  year  1777  was  not  marked  by  any  important 
occurrence  that  deserves  notice  here.  Tiie  inhabitants  of  the  county 
proceeded  with  the  spring  work  on  their  farms  in  1778,  in  the  liope  of 
reaping  a  harvest  in  the  autumn.  They  were  doomed  to  disappoint- 
ment. 

On  the  25th  of  June  the  following  appointments  were  made  by  the 
governor  and  council  to  the  regiment  of  militia  in  the  German  Flats 
and  Kingsland  districts  : 

Field  Ollioers  and  Regimental  Stall'. — Peter  Bellingfr,  colonel;  Frederick  Bellinger, 
lieuten.int-colonel ;  George  Demoth,  adjutant ;  Rudolph  Steel,  quartei  master. 

Michael  Ittig,  captain;  Jacob  Baulcom,  first  lieutenant ;  Frederick  Frank,  second 
lieutenant ;   Patrick  Campbell,  ensign. 

1  Although  this  stratagem  is  generally  credited  to  [General  Arnold,  Judge  Benton  doubts  the 
statement,  and  we  are  inclined  to  agree  with  him.  The  principal  ground  for  the  doubt  lies  in  the 
extreme  probability  that  nothing  would  better  have  pleased  the  rash  American  General  Arnold  at 
that  time  than  an  opportunity  to  flog  the  "  banditti  of  robbers,  murderers  and  traitors,"  as  he  had 
characterized  the  forces  under  St.  Leger ;  and  that  he  would  not,  therefore,  have  adopted  a  plan  to 
frighten  them  beyond  his  reach. 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD. 


59 


Henry  Harter,  captain ;  John  Demotb,  first  lieutenant;  Peter  .Ta.  Weaver,  second 
lieutenant;  John  F.  Bellinger,  ensign. 

Jacob  Small,  captain ;  George  F.  Helmer,  second  lieutenant;  Jacob  D.  Petrie,  ensign. 

Henry  Staring,  captain ;  Theobald  Baker,  first  lieutenant ;  George  Weaver,  second 
lieutenant. 

Soverenus  Cassleman,  captain;  Henry  Uuber,  first  lieutenant;  Jacob  G.  Klock,  sec- 
ond lieutenant. 

Frederick  Getman,  captain  ;  Jacob  Meyer,  second   lieutenant;  John   Meyer,   ensign. 

Henrv  Eckler,  captain  ;  Conrad  Orendorff,  first  lieutenant;  Timothy  Frank,  second 
lieutenant;  Adam  A.  Staring,  ensign. 

The  nine  companies  formed  in  1775  were  thus  reduced  to  seven  by 
the  casualties  of  the  war.  The  names  of  Herkimer  and  Shoemaker 
had  disappeared  from  the  rohs,  and  only  one  of  the  Petries  was  left. 


Plan  and  Profile  of  Retrenched  Work  round  Harkemeis  house  at  y"  German  Flats,  1756 


The  first  hostility  in  the  county  in  1778  occurred  in  what  is  now  the 
town  of  Warren,  when  Brant  and  a  few  of  his  followers  attacked  and 
burned  a  settlement  called    Andrustown,  killed   five   persons  and  cap- 


60  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

tured  the  remainder  of  the  seven  famihes  living  there.  This  event 
occurred  in  July,  and  in  the  following  month  and  the  first  days  of  Sep- 
tember, the  Palatine  settlements  were  destined  to  suffer  at  the  hands  of 
the  enemy.  At  this  time,  as  the  reader  has  already  learned,  there 
were  two  fortifications  for  the  protection  of  the  upper  valley  :  Fort 
Herkimer,  near  the  south  bank  of  the  Mohawk  river,  containing  the 
stone  church  and  the  stone  mansion  of  the  Herkimer  family,  with  some 
other  buildings,  and  surrounded  by  a  ditch  ;  and  Fort  Dayton,  on  a 
slight  elevation  in  the  westerly  part  of  Herkimer  village,  a  few  rods 
from  the  site  of  the  present  court-house.  These  forts,  while  they 
would  appear  as  insignificant  defenses  from  the  standpoint  of  modern 
warfare,  were  then  quite  effective  protection  against  the  arms  of  that 
period.  There  were  then  about  seventy  dwellings  on  both  sides  of  the 
river  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  two  forts,  besides  barns,  other  out- 
buildings and  mills,  with  a  large  population  in  proportion  to  the  num- 
ber of  houses.  Brant  had  remained  quiet  at  Unadilla  for  a  long  time, 
a  fact  that  aroused  the  suspicions  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  valley,  and 
they  finally  sent  four  men  as  scouts  to  learn  the  Indian's  intentions. 
The  scouts  fell  in  with  the  moving  enemy  and  three  were  killed,  while 
the  fourth,  John  Helmer,  escaped  by  flight,  returned  to  the  fort  and 
reported  the  approach  of  Brant  and  a  large  body  of  Indians  and  tories. 
The  terror-stricken  people  fled  into  the  forts,  carrying  with  them  their 
most  valuable  possessions. 

The  Indian  chief  at  the  head  of  three  hundred  tories  and  about  half 
as  many  savages  approached  the  senlement  just  at  nightfall,  but  as  the 
weather  was  stormy  they  remained  near  the  dwelling  of  Shoemaker, 
the  tory  sympathizer,  until  morning,  when  the  torch  was  applied  to 
every  building  in  the  settlement  and  to  the  stacks  of  hay  and  grain, 
while  the  stock  of  the  farmers  was  jtfterward  driven  away.  Only  two 
persons  lost  their  lives,  thanks  to  the  escape  and  return  of  John  Hel- 
mer with  the  news  of  the  intended  attack.  It  is  recorded  that  sixty- 
three  dwellings,  fifty-seven  barns,  three  grist-mills  and  two  saw- mills 
were  burned  ;  and  235  horses,  229  cattle,  269  sheep  and  93  oxen  were 
driven  away.  About  400  militia  followed  in  pursuit  of  the  enemy  as 
far  as  Unadilla,  but  the  chase  was  fruitless.  It  seems  sadly  unfort- 
unate  that  there   could  not    have   been   a   force  of  soldiers   from   the 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  6l 

general  army  provided  at  one  of  these  forts,  sufficient  to  have  left  the 
defenses  and  attacked  such  a  body  of  marauders  at  such  a  time  ;  but 
by  the  student  of  tlie  records  of  the  great  struggle  it  is  known  that  the 
numbers  of  the  army  were  inadequate  to  the  protection  of  an  extended 
frontier,  and  at  the  same  time  prosecute  the  war  at  many  vastly 
more  important  points. 

This  destructive  raid  seems  to  have  satisfied  the  tories  and  Indians 
that  they  had  accomplished  all  the  damage  possible  for  a  considerable 
period.  The  lower  valley  and  other  localities  received  the  incursions  of 
the  enemy,  while  the  German  Flats  and  what  is  now  the  territory  of 
Herkimer  county  was  exempt  from  attack.  On  the  3d  of  April,  1780, 
about  sixty  tories  and  Indians  descended  upon  the  settlements  of 
Rheimensynder's  Bush,  a  few  miles  north  of  Little  Falls,  and  burned 
a  grist-mill.  A  tory  named  Cassleman  was  with  the  party.  They 
took  John  Garter  and  his  son  John  prisoners  at  the  mill,  and  captured 
three  men  in  the  road,  one  of  whom  was  Joseph  Newman  ;  at  the  same 
time,  John  Windecker,  Henry  Shaver,  George  Adle,  Cobus  Van  Slyke 
and  one  Youker  (or  Uker),  with  several  others,  were  taken  at  Win- 
decker's  father's  house  some  distance  north  of  the  mill.  All  of  these 
returned  at  the  close  of  the  war  excepting  John  Garter,  who  died  in 
Canada  from  punishment  received  for  an  attempt  at  escape,  and  George 
Adle,  who  escaped  and  returned  earlier.  Others  of  the  inhabitants 
of  Rheimensynder's  Bush  secured  refuge  in  the  block-house  in  the 
settlement.  After  this  visit  of  the  Indians,  the  people  of  that  part  of 
the  county  left  their  farms  and  retired  to  the  lower  part  of  the  valley. 

In  the  month  of  May,  1781,  Fort  Schuyler  was  so  far  destroyed  by 
flood  and  fire  as  to  lead  to  its  abandonment  and  the  withdrawal  of  the 
garrison  to  the  German  Flats;  but  this  was  not  a  severe  affliction,  nor 
did  it  greatly  weaken  the  situation  of  the  settlers  in  Tryon  county.  On 
the  8th  of  May,  of  this  year,  Solomon  Woodworth,  a  brave  lieutenant 
in  Colonel  John  Harper's  New  York  regiment,  was  appointed  first  lieu- 
tenant in  Colonel  Fisher's  regiment  of  Tryon  county  militia.  With  a 
company  of  forty  rangers  he  was  stationed  at  Fort  Dayton,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  scouting  the  country  north  of  the  F'lats.  Lieutenant  Woodworth 
and  his  company  left  the  fort  to  reconnoiter  the  Royal  Grant.  After  a 
few  hours'  march   they  came   upon  an   Indian,  fired  on  him,  and  found 


62  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

themselves  in  an  ambuscade  and  completely  surrounded  by  savages.  A 
bloody  conflict  followed,  and  the  hand-to-hand  fight  left  only  fifteen  of 
the  Americans  to  return  with  the  news  of  the  fate  of  their  comrades. 
Among  the  killed  was  Woodworth.  This  encounter  "  took  place  about 
three  miles  north  of  Herkimer  village,  on  the  east  side  of  the  West 
Canada  Creek,  in  a  deep  ravine,  where  now  may  be  seen  the  mound  of 
earth,  under  which  rest  the  remains  of  the  gallant  W'oodworth  and  iiis 
brave  companions."  ^ 

One  of  the  most  notable  incidents  in  tiiis  section,  though  partaking  of 
a  personal  character,  occurred  on  the  6th  of  August,  1781,  when  the 
small  settlement  of  Shell's  Bush,  about  three  miles  north  of  Fort  Day- 
ton, was  visited  by  a  party  of  about  sixty  Indians  and  tories,  under  com- 
mand of  Donald  McDonald,  a  notorious  Scotch  refugee  from  Johns- 
town. A  large  portion  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  Bush  probably  received 
notice  of  the  visit  and  sought  siielter  in  Fort  Dayton  ;  but  John  Chris- 
tian Shell  was  made  of  sterner  stuff,  and  he,  with  his  resolute  wife  and 
six  sons,  resolved  to  enter  his  block-house,  which  he  had  built  upon  his 
farm,  and  fight  it  out.  Two  of  the  boys,  however,  were  twins  only  eight 
years  old,  and  being  out  in  the  field  were  unable  to  reach  the  shelter, 
nor  could  the  others  reach  them  without  sacrificing  themselves,  and  the 
little  fellows  were  carried  away  to  Canada.  Shell's  block-house  was 
built  of  logs  and  in  the  lower  story  were  a  heavy  door  and  loop  holes, 
while  the  second  story  projected  over  the  first  and  the  floor  of  the  pro- 
jection vvas  pierced  with  holes  down  through  which  the  inmates  could 
fire  upon  an  attacking  party,  however  close  to  the  walls  they  might  be 
Shell's  wife  made  herself  of  the  utmost  usefulness  in  loading  the  guns 
for  her  husband  and  four  sons  to  fire,  and  under  the  perpetual  shower 
of  well- aimed  bullets  the  enemy  was  several  times  forced  to  retire.  At- 
tempts were  made  to  fire  the  block- house,  but  without  success,  and 
McDonald  himself  made  an  effort  to  force  the  door  with  a  crow  bar, 
but  was  wounded  in  the  leg  and  dragged  into  the  block-house  by  Shell. 
This  capture  protected  Shell  from  being  burned  out  by  the  enemy  and 
also  gave  him  a  supply  of  ammunition.  At  one  time  in  the  assault, 
just  after  a  short  respite,  the  enemy  came  up  for  a  vigorous  attack  and 
thrust  the  muzzles  of  their  guns  through  the  loop  holes.     This  was  Mrs. 

'  Benton's  Herkimer  County, 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  63 

Shell's  opportunity,  and  she  disabled  five  of  the  guns  with  a  blow  from 
an  axe.  Just  at  dark  Shell  practiced  ,a  little  stratagem  which  led  the 
party  to  believe  that  relief  was  coming  from  the  fort,  and  they  fled  to 
the  woods.  McDonald  was  taken  to  the  fort  the  next  day  and  hi.s  leg 
amputated.  Eleven  of  the  enemy  were  killed  and  six  wounded  and 
left.  Tlie  little  boys  reported  on  their  return  after  the  war,  that  of 
twelve  wounded  which  the  party  started  away  witii,  nine  died  before 
reaching  Canada.  In  the  following  year  Shell  was  dangerously  wounded 
by  a  bullet  while  at  work  in  his  field.  Two  of  his  sons  were  with  him, 
and  one  was  killed  before  relief  came  from  the  fort.  John  Christian 
Shell  did  not  long  survive  his  wounds,  and  died  a  good  Christian.  Judge 
Benton  wrote  as  follows  : 

"The  Shellbush  settlement  is  on  what  is  usually  called  Gens  Pur- 
chase, embracing  perliaps  some  portion  of  the  Royal  Grant,  and  it  will 
be  observed  that  the  name  of  Shell,  Schel  or  Shaul  does  not  occur 
among  the  patentees  of  Burnetsfield,  nor  is  the  name  found  in  the  list  of 
Palatines  remaining  in  New  York,  or  taken  to  Livingston  Manor,  of  the 
first  two  companies  that  emigrated.  Enough  is  still  known  of  him  to 
authorize  the  conclusion  that  he  was  a  German  Lutheran,  and  he  or  his 
ancestors  may  have  come  over  with  the  third  body  of  immigrants  in 
1/22,  or  at  a  later  period." 

On  the  24th  of  October  of  this  year  (1781)  an  expedition  under  Major 
Ross  and  Walter  N.  Butler  made  an  incursion  into  the  lower  valley  and 
repeated  the  bloody  and  barbarous  deeds  before  enacted  by  these  in- 
famous tories  in  other  localities.  After  burning  and  destroying  every- 
thing in  their  course,  they  retreated  in  a  northerly  direction  through 
Jerseyfield.  Colonel  Wiliett  learned  of  the  raid,  destroyed  their  ba- 
teaux left  on  Oneida  Lake,  and  reached  German  Flats  by  forced  marches 
to  intercept  their  retreat  on  West  Canada  Creek.  They  encamped  the 
first  night  in  a  thick  forest  on  the  Royal  Grant,  and  there  the  colonel 
learned  from  his  scouts  the  position  and  force  of  the  enemy.  The  next 
morning  he  started  in  pursuit,  but  Ross  was  equally  alert  and  began 
his  retreat  at  break  of  day.  Wiliett  came  up  with  the  enemy  in  the 
afternoon,  and  a  skirmish  followed  with  the  rear  of  the  party,  in  which 
several  of  them  were  killed  and  some  taken  prisoners,  among  the  latter 
being  Lieutenant  John  Rykeman.     The  Americans  overtook  the  main 


64  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

body  of  the  enemy  soon  afterward,  and  a  running  fight  was  kept  up 
until  they  crossed  the  creek  late  in  the  day.  Butler  rallied  his  men  and 
made  a  stand  on  the  west  bank,  and  a  brisk  action  took  place,  the  par- 
ties being  on  opposite  sides  of  the  creek.  About  twenty  of  them  were 
killed  and  among  them  Rutler  himself.'  With  his  death  his  men  fled 
in  confusion  and  were  pursued  by  Willett  until  darkness  fell.  The  enemy 
continued  in  retreat  all  night  and  marched  thirty  miles  before  a  halt 
was  made.  The  British  had  670  men  in  this  expedition,  and  it  closed 
the  active  operations  of  the  enemy  in  this  vicinity  for  the  year. 

At  the  close  of  Willett's  pursuit  of  the  British  on  the  expedition 
above  described,  he  returned  to  Fort  Dayton,  having  lost  only  one 
man. 

The  next  event  of  importance  to  the  people  of  Herkimer  county  took 
place  in  June,  1782,  when  a  party  of  Indians  and  tories  appeared  at  the 
Little  Falls,  apparently  for  the  sole  purpose  of  destrojing  a  grist-mill. 
This  mill  was  of  great  usefulness  to  the  settlers  in  the  valley,  especially 
after  the  destruction  of  those  at  the  German  Flats  by  Brant  more  than 
a  year  earlier.  When  the  enemy  reached  the  mill  it  was  occupied  by 
Peter  Wolleaver,  Christian  Edick,  Frederick  Getman,  Marks  Rasbach,_ 
John  Rasbach,  Thomas  Shoemaker,  Lawrence  Hatter,  Jacob  Petri,  Dan- 
iel Petri  (who  was  killed),  Peter  Orendorff;  Gershom  Skinner  and  F. 
Cox,  millers;  and  a  sergeant  and  six  men  from  Captain  McGregor's 
company.  Hardly  a  shot  was  fired  by  the  Americans.  Two  of  the 
soldiers  escaped  and  five  were  taken  prisoners.  Cox  and  Skinner  hid 
themselves  in  the  raceway  under  the  water-wheel  and  escaped;  two 
others,  P2dick  and  Getman,  jumped  into  the  raceway  and  endeavored  to 
conceal  themselves,  but  the  burning  mill  disclcsed  their  hiding  place 
and  they  were  taken  prisoners. 

This  was  the  last  serious  incursion  into  the  Mohav\k  valley  during  the 
Revolution.  Towards  the  close  of  the  j-ear  the  British  commander  iii- 
chief  directed  that  no  more  Indian  expeditions  should  be  sent  out  at  the 

'  The  manner  of  Butler's  death  has  been  differently  related  by  participants  in  the  battle,  and 
others,  some  insistiniaj  that  he  was  killed  outright ;  others  that  he  was  wounded  and  afterwards 
murdered  while  supplicating  for  mercy,  and  still  others  that  he  reached  the  opposite  bank  of  the 
creek  where  he  stepped  upon  a  fallen  tree  and  deiied  his  pursuers,  whereupon  he  was  shot  by  two 
persons  at  the  same  time.  There  is  no  good  reason  for  doubting  Colonel  Willett's  official  state- 
ment that  Hutlerwas  instantly  killed  in  the  course  of  the  firing  across  the  creek  :  in  any  event  the 
question  has  been  given  much  more  importance  than  it  ever  deserved. 


iu^i 


'2'^if,lrr~ 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  65  . 

north,  and  those  already  out  were  recalled.  The  dawn  of  peace  was  at 
hand.  In  February,  1783,  the  forces  under  Colonel  Willett  were  concen- 
trated at  Fort  Herkimer,  with  the  purpose  of  surprising  and  capturing 
the  fortress  at  Oswego  ;  but  the  expedition  failed  on  account  of  the  small 
number  of  troops  engaged  and  lack  of  proper  armament  to  besiege  the 
works.  Colonel  Willett  returned  to  Albany  in  time  to  share  in  thejoys 
caused  by  the  declaration  of  peace. 

On  the  7th  of  March,  1788,  the  boundaries  of  several  counties  in  the 
State  were  more  definitely  described,  among  them  being  Montgomery. 
Two  of  the  towns  established  at  this  time,  German  Flats  and  Herkimer, 
contained  most  of  the  territory  of  the  present  Herkimer  county,  with 
much  besides.  The  western  boundary  of  both  of  these  towns  was  a 
north  and  south  line  which  crossed  the  Mohawk,  "  near  and  on  the  east 
side  of  the  house  of  William  Cunningham."  This  house  stood  near  the 
foot  of  Genesee  street,  Utica.  The  original  town  of  Herkimer  extended 
north  to  the  St.  Lawrence  and  was  bounded  on  the  east  by  a  line  run- 
ning north  from  Little  Falls.  German  Flats  was  bounded  on  the  north 
by  the  Mohawk  ;  on  the  east  by  the  line  now  forming  the  eastern  bounds 
of  Little  Falls  and  Warren,  and  included  all  of  the  present  towns  of 
Herkimer  county  west  of  the  latter  line,  excepting  a  part  of  Winfield. 
The  town  of  Palatine  adjoined  Herkimer  on  the  east,  and  Canajoharie 
lay  next  to  German  Flats.  A  part  of  Palatine  was  annexed  to  Herki- 
mer town  in  1791  ;  Warren  was  taken  from  German  Flats  in  1796,  and 
Litchfield  from  the  same  town  at  the  same  time  ;  and  in  1797  Salisbury 
was  set  off  from  Palatine.  In  the  following  year  Norway  and  Schuyler 
were  taken  ofT  from  Herkimer,  Newport  was  taken  off  in  1806,  and  a 
few  other  territorial  changes  were  made  in  the  town. 

After  the  close  of  the  Revolution  a  New  England  element  was  rapidly 
introduced  into  the  Mohawk  valley,  bringing  with  it  the  characteristic 
thrift  and  enterprise  and  push  of  that  people.  It  was  mainly  through 
their  influence  that  the  separation  of  Herkimer  from  Montgomery  county 
was  effected  on  the  1 6th  of  February,  1791.  The  petition  in  opposition 
to  the  measure  was  dated  December  29,  1790,  and  was  drawn  by  Dr. 
William  Petry.  Among  the  400  signatures  are  found  nearly  all  the  old 
Palatine  names. 

The  first  reduction  of  the  originally  vast  territory  of  Herkimer  county 
occurred  in  the  formation  of  Onondaga  from  it,  March  5,  1794.      Ham- 


66  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

ilton  was  taken  off  March  31,  1797.  The  formation  of  Chenango  and 
Oneida,  March  15,  1798  (the  hitter  including  Lewis),  conpiinicd  most 
of  the  original  territory  of  Herkimer  county  till  then  remaining  outside 
of  its  present  limits,  and  gave  the  county  its  present  western  boundary. 
Its  north  line  was  established  by  the  creation  of  St.  Lawrence,  March  3, 
1802;  and  the  present  outline  of  Herkimer  county  was  completed  by 
moving  the  original  eastern  line  eastward  to  its  present  position,  April 
7,  18 1 7.  The  county  is  the  longest  in  the  State,  the  northernmost 
point  of  Wilmurt  being  a  little  over  ninety  miles  from  the  southern- 
most point  of  Warren. 

The  court-house  and  jail  for  Montgomery  county  were  located  at 
Whitesboro,  now  in  Oneida  county,  and  thus  remained  until  the  erec- 
tion of  Herkimer  county. 

Smarting  under  the  inflictions  ot  the  enemy  in  the  Revolutionary  war 
the  colonists  took  prompt  steps  after  the  close  of  the  war  to  organize 
their  militia  for  protection  against  future  aggression,  which  proved  to 
be  a  wise  course.  In  1786  the  local  militia  of  the  German  Flats  and 
Kingsland  districts  was  reorganized  and  officered  as  follow  s  : 

Fielil  ami  Regimental  Stafl" — Henry  Staring,  lieutenant-colonel;  Peter  Weaver,  major 
1st  battalion  ;  Patrick  Campbell,  major  2d  battalion;  John  Frank,  adjutant ;  Mek-liert 
Foils,  payma.ster;  William  Petry,  surgeon. 

l.st  company — Jacob  Petrie,  captain  ;  Dederick  Petrie,  lieutenant  ;  William  Feeter,' 
ensign. 

2d  company  -John  Meyer,  captain  ;  William  Clapsaddle,  lieutenant ;  Henrj'  Frank, 
ensign. 

3d  company — Adam  Staring,  captain;  Lndwick  Campbell,  lieutenant;  Lawrence 
Harter,  ensign. 

4tli  company — Peter  P.  Bellinger,  cajitain ;  Jost  Herkimer,  lieutenant;  Peter  Fox, 
ensign. 

5th  company — Michael  Meyer,  captain;  Peter  F.  Bellinger,  lieutenant;  George 
Weaver,  ensign. 

6th  company — William  Colbreath,  captain  ;  Daniel  C.  White,  lieutenant ;  George  J. 
Weaver,  ensign. 

Besides  the  above  a  company  of  cavalry  was  organized,  under  com- 
mand of  Captain  Hudson,  of  what  is  now  the  town  of  Danube,  and  after- 

'  This  William  Ketler  was  aiterwaids,  in  Marcli.  1791.  appointed  captain  in  the  militia,  being 
commissioned  in  two  companies,  and  in  April.  17^6,  was  commissioned  second  major  in  Jacob  Pe- 
trie's  regiment.  In;  the  following  year  he  was  commissioned  first  major,  and  in  1798  was  commis- 
sioned lieutenant-colonel,  all  these  offices  being  in  the  Herkimer  county  militia.  He  died  at  Little 
Falls  in  1844. 


THE  REVOLUTIONAKV  PERIOD.  67 

wards  under  command  of  Peter  Young,  of  Fort  Plain,  who  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Captain  Wemple,  and  he  by  Jacob  Eacker,  of  Palatine.  On 
the  loth  of  April,  1812,  Congress  authorized  the  drafting  of  one  hun- 
dred thousand  men  from  the  militia  of  the  country,  13,500  being  the 
New  York  quota.  A  few  days  later  the  State  militia  was  formed  into 
two  divisions  and  eight  brigades.  The  Fourth  Brigade  comprised  the 
Tenth,  Eleventh,  Twelfth  and  Thirteenth  Regiments  in  the  Mohawk 
valley,  and  was  under  command  of  General  Richard  Dodge,  of  Johns- 
town. 

The  causes  that  led  to  the  outbreak  of  the  war  need  not  be  cata- 
logued here.  To  abolish  the  repeated  violations  of  the  Embargo  Act  on 
the  Canadian  frontier,  a  regiment  of  the  militia  under  Colonel  Christo- 
pher Bellinger  was  stationed,  in  May,  1812,  at  Sackett's  Harbor  and 
other  northern  points.  Upon  the  declaration  of  war  in  the  following 
month,  this  body  of  troops  was  reinforced  from  the  militia  not  yet  called 
into  service.  During  the  war  the  militia  and  volunteers  from  the  Mo- 
hawk valley  were  on  duty  along  the  frontier,  the  regiments  and  com- 
panies, when  their  terms  of  service  expired,  being  replaced  by  others. 
Records  are  not  accessible  from  which  to  obtain  a  list  of  those  who 
served  in  this  struggle  from  Herkimer  county,  but  previous  to  1859 
records  in  the  adjutant-general's  office  at  Albany  show  that  about  230 
men  from  the  county  had  presented  claims  to  the  State  for  various 
equipments  furnished  by  themselves. 

With  the  close  of  the  war  the  militia  returned  to  their  homes  and  the 
peaceful  arts  were  taken  up.  The  militia  then  comprised  all  able-bodied 
citizens  between  the  ages  of  eighteen  and  forty- five  years  with  certain 
exemptions.  This  organization,  with  minor  changes,  was  substantial!}- 
continued  down  to  near  the  outbreak  of  the  Civil  War,  186 1—5. 

With  the  development  of  the  valley  and  especially  of  the  rich  territory 
farther  west,  the  necessity  of  better  and  more  rapid  means  of  transpor- 
tation of  freight  and  passengers  became  paramount,  and  soon  led  to  the 
construction  of  the  Erie  Canal.  This  great  undertaking  had  been  dis- 
cussed since  1807,  and  in  the  following  year  a  preliminary  survey  was 
made  by  James  Geddes,  of  Onondaga.  His  report  was  favorable  for  a 
canal  on  substantially  the  line  which  it  finally  followed,  and  the  Legisla- 
ture thereupon  appropriated  $3,000  for  additional  explorations  and  sur- 


68  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

veys,  wliich  were  carried  out  in  1810.  The  war  with  Great  Britain  de- 
layed the  beginning  of  the  work,  but  it  was  revived  as  soon  as  peace 
was  declared,  and  in  18 17  De  Witt  Clinton,  who  was  a  staunch  friend 
to  the  enterprise,  procured  the  passage  of  an  act  creating  a  commission 
to  take  up  the  work,  and  construction  was  actually  begun  in  the  spring 
of  that  year.  It  was  more  then  two  years  before  any  part  of  the  canal 
was  ready  for  use.  On  the  22d  of  October,  1819,  the  first  boat,  called 
the  Chief  Engineer,  was  launched  at  Rome,  to  run  between  that  place 
and  Utica.  On  the  21st  of  July,  1820,  tolls  were  first  levied.  In  tlie 
previous  autumn  the  canal  was  filled  with  water  from  the  west  to  with- 
in two  miles  of  Frankfort,  where  a  dam  was  constructed  to  retain  the 
water  while  the  excavation  was  progressing  eastward.  The  canal  was 
used  between  Utica  and  Little  Falls  in  the  fall  of  1821,  the  contractor 
at  the  latter  point  availing  himself  of  the  works  of  the  Inland  Lock 
Navigation  Company,  and  that  portion  east  to  the  Hudson  was  under 
contract.  In  the  spring  of  1S23  the  canal  was  open  throughout  from 
Spraker's  to  the  western  part  of  the  State,  and  on  the  26th  of  October, 
1825,  the  great  waterway  was  open  from  Black  Rock  at  Lake  Erie  to 
the  Hudson  River.  On  the  morning  of  that  day  a  flotilla  of  boats 
started  from  Lake  Erie  for  New  York,  in  celebration  of  the  event,  car- 
rying the  governor,  commissioners  and  others.  Cannon  had  been  sta- 
tioned at  intervals  along  the  canal,  to  be  fired  when  the  boats  passed, 
thus  notifying  the  next  station  that  all  was  going  well.  One  of  the  guns 
was  planted  at  Little  Falls,  one  at  Herkimer  lock,  and  one  on  the  hill 
in  the  present  Frankfort  cemetery.  The  flotilla  proceeded  to  Albany, 
after  a  passage  marked  with  public  demonstrations  of  cntlnisiasni  along 
the  whole  line. 

The  completion  of  the  canal  revolutionized  travel  and  traffic  through 
the  Mohawk  valley,  as  it  did  throughout  the  State.  The  Mohawk 
River  and  the  Navigation  Company's  canals  were  abandoned,  and  an 
active  competition  between  the  old-time  stages  and  the  new  thor- 
oughfare sprang  up.  Travel  greatly  increased  and  the  eastern  mar- 
kets were  made  easily  and  cheaply  accessible  for  the  agricultural 
products  of  the  State,  thus  aiding  in  the  development  of  the  country. 
As  an  evidence  of  the  rapidity  with  which  the  canal  was  brought 
into  use,  particularly  as  regards  freight,  it  may  be  stated  that  the  num- 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  69 

ber  of  canal  boats  which  arrived  in  Albany  during  the  season  of  1823, 
was  1,329;  during  that  of  1824,  2,687;  during  that  of  1825  it  was 
3,336,  and  in  1826  it  was  about  7,000.  The  rate  of  transportation 
on  the  turnpike  in  1826  was  one  and  one-half  cents  per  mile  ;  the  rate 
by  the  canal  was  five  mills.  But  it  must  not,  therefore,  be  inferred 
that  all  passengers  deserted  the  stage  coaches  for  the  packet  boats. 
The  canal  passage  was  still  tedious  compared  with  that  by  land  and 
was  chosen  by  those  who  desired  to  lessen  the  fatigue  of  a  journey  ; 
it  was  avoided  where  time  was  of  special  account.  Merchants,  bank- 
ers and  tradesmen,  bound  to  and  from  the  metropolis,  lawyers  in 
their  journeys  to  courts,  and  all  who  were  fulfilling  engagements  or 
intent  only  on  business,  made  use  of  the  stages  until  after  railroads 
were  built. 

But  a  spirit  of  enterprise  was  abroad.  If  the  canal  had  proved  itself 
of  such  immense  importance,  still  more  rapid  and  extensive  transpor- 
tation facilities  would,  the  progressive  people  argued,  give  the  rich  fields 
of  the  Mohawk  valley  precedence  over  any  other  part  of  the  State. 
When  tlie  canal  was  opened  to  the  public  there  was  not  a  railroad  in 
America.  That  was  only  sixty-five  years  ago.  But  the  steam  locomo- 
tive was  already  attracting  attention  on  both  sides  of  the  Atlantic.  In 
April,  1826,  when  the  canal  was  just  coming  into  full  operation,  a  char- 
ter was  granted  to  the  "Mohawk  and  Hudson  River  Railroad  Compa- 
ny," to  construct  a  railroad  between  Albany  and  Schenectady.  It  was 
more  than  four  years  before  the  work  was  begun  under  this  charter,  and 
in  the  mean  time  railroads  in  other  States  had  been  completed,  and  the 
Auburn  and  Syracuse  Railroad,  chartered  in  May,  1834,  was  opened 
and  first  operated  by  steam  in  1839.  In  August,  1830,  work  was  begun 
on  the  Albany  and  Schenectady  road,  and  it  was  so  energetically  ad- 
vanced that  in  October,  1 83 1,  it  was  finished  and  carrying  about  four 
hundred  passengers  daily  on  the  average.  The  road,  although  crude  in 
its  construction,  and  running  so  slow  that  the  packet  canal  boats  were 
strong  rivals,  was  successful,  and  in  1833  a  charter  was  granted  for  the 
Utica  and  Schenectady  Railroad.  The  line  was  to  run  on  the  north 
bank  of  the  Mohawk  River  and  the  road  to  be  finished  within  ten  years 
from  the  date  of  the  charter.  Work  was  begun  in  the  fall  of  1834,  and 
in  the  summer  of  1836  the  road  was  completed,  and  regular  traffic  was 


70  II1ST0R7  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

begun  on  the  2d  of  August  of  that  year.  The  event  was  celebrated  by 
public  demonstrations  all  along  the  line  These  railroad  lines,  with 
tiiose  running  west  from  Utica,  were  consolidated  into  the  New  York 
Central  in    1853. 

While  all  these  added  transportation  facilities  were  of  great  benefit 
to  the  State  antl  country  at  large,  it  cannot  be  said  that  the  Mohawk 
valley  shared  in  it  for  a  number  of  years  aftei  their  construction.  The 
lumber  interest,  perhaps,  was  extended  directly  by  the  canal  and  rail- 
roads until  a  large  portion  of  the  county  was  cleared  of  valuable  timber  ; 
even  in  recent  years  the  northern  parts  of  the  county  have  found  in  this 
industry  their  greatest  source  of  wealth.  But  the  opening  to  eastern 
markets  of  the  rich  fields  of  the  so-called  "  Genesee  country  "  in  com- 
petition with  the  products  of  Herkimer  and  adjoining  counties,  worked 
seriously  to  the  disadvantage  of  the  latter,  imposing  conditions  that  con- 
tinued to  be  felt  until  the  later  wonderful  growth  of  the  dairy  industry. 

Meanwhile  the  county  rapidly  advanced  in  all  the  various  institu- 
tions that  constitute  the  progressive  American  community.  Further 
town  divisions  were  made,  as  necessity  seemed  to  demand,  Manheim  be- 
ing formed  from  Palatine  in  1817  ;  Winfield  from  Litchfield,  Richfield 
(Otsego  county)  and  Plainfield  (Otsego  county)  in  1816;  Ohio  from 
Norway  in  1823  ;  Stark  from  Danube  in  1828;  Little  Falls  from  Fair- 
field, Herkimer  and  German  Flats  in  1829;  and  Wilmurt  from  Russia 
and  Ohio  in  1836.  Schools  were  established,  newspapers  published 
(the  first  in  1802,  followed  by  three  or  four  others  by  1810),  churches 
multiplied,  all  of  which  will  receive  proper  treatment  in  the  later  town 
histories. 

A  reorganization  of  the  Herkimer  County  Agricultural  Society  was 
effected  under  the  act  of  May  6,  1841.  The  original  society  dated 
back  to  1819,  and  was  established  under  the  act  of  that  year  which  pro- 
vided among  other  things  the  distribution  of  an  appropriation  among 
the  counties  of  the  State  for  the  promotion  of  agriculture  through  county 
societies.  As  far  as  Herkimer  county  was  concerned,  the  society  was 
short-lived.  Under  the  reorganization,  however,  new  life  was  infused 
into  the  society;  annual  fairs  were  held,  and  have  continued  to  the 
present  time,  and  the  interest  felt  is  general  and  the  benefits  freely 
acknowledged.      During  the  early  years  of  the  society  the  grounds  used 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  71 

were  situated  on  the  north  side  of  the  road  between  Mohawk  and  Her- 
kimer, on  the  premises  of  A.  M.  Gray  ;  but  in  1874  grounds  that  were 
more  commodious  and  convenient  were  leased  from  Philip  Harter, 
on  the  south  side  of  the  road  and  nearer   to  Herkimer. 

In  estimating  the  services  of  the  settlers  in  the  Mohawk  valley  in 
the  War  of  the  Revolution,  it  is  no  more  than  just  to  give  them,  as  a 
whole,  a  high  degree  of  commendation.  Beset  on  the  one  hand  by 
emissaries  to  induce  them  to  give  their  allegiance  to  the  king,  and  on 
the  other  knowing  that  almost  certainly  their  homes  would  be  ravaged 
and  their  lives  endangered  if  they  were  true  to  their  adopted  country, 
it  is  not  a  marvel  that  some  of  their  numbers  were  found  among  the 
tories  ;  it  is  even  a  wonder  that  so  few  embraced  the  royal  cause  It 
is  believed  by  the  best  authority  that  not  more  than  one  in  twenty 
deserted  the  colonists  in   the   struggle. 

After  the  close  of  the  war  a  large  portion  of  the  territory  of  the  pres- 
ent Herkimer  county  was  forfeited  and  confiscated,  as  before  related, 
largely  on  account  of  the  fact  that  the  Royal  Grant  and  other  lands 
were  in  possession  of  the  Johnson  family.  Most  of  this  grant  was  thus 
forfeited  and  vested  in  the  State.  The  tract  of  2,000  acres,  also, 
granted  to  Guy  Johnson  in  1765,  situated  in  the  present  towns  of  Ger- 
man Flats  and  Little  Falls,  was  forfeited.  The  Herkimer  estates  for- 
feited lay  in  the  present  limits  of  German  Flats  and  Herkimer.  These 
various  confiscations  of  lands  have  been  characterized  and  complained 
of  as  wanton,  unnecessary  and  cruel  ;  but  the  general  concensus  of 
opinion  upholds  the  proceeding  as  fully  justified  by  the  extreme  prov- 
ocation given  by  those  against  whom  the  act  was  operative. 

PERSONAL    NOTES    OF    PALATINE    FAMILIES.^ 

Descendants  of  a  considerable  number  of  the  Palatine  families  are  still 
resident  in  Herkimer  county,  as  will  be  seen  in  these  notes.  Among 
such  may  be  mentioned  the  following :  Bowman,  Dacksteder  (now 
Dockstader),  Felmore  (now  P''ulnier),  Herter,  Lant  (now  Landt), 
Mayor  (now  Moyer),  Orendros  and  Orendorf  (now  Ohrendorff), 
Pears   (now  Barse),  Pell  (now   Bell),  Reckert  and  Spohn.     The  families 

'These  brief  notes  are  condensed  from  sketches  prepared  by  the  late  Judge  Benton,  and  are 
given  space  in  these  pages  that  they  may  be  preserved  to  future  generations. 


72  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTT. 

who  became  extinct  before  the  Revolution,  their  lands  passing  into 
other  hands,  were  the  Beermans,  Fellers,  Hosses,  Korsings,  Pouradts, 
Spies  and  Veldelents. 

Frederick  and  Anna  .\fary  Pell  {Bell)  each  took  one  hundred  acres 
of  land  on  the  north  side  of  the  river  in  the  Burnetsfield  grant,  near 
the  site  of  Herkimer  village.  The  family  was  never  very  numerous 
in  the  county.  One  member  with  his  son  was  killed  by  Brant  and  his 
Indians  in  July,  1778.  George  Henry  Bell  married  General  Herkimer's 
sister  Catherine,  and  was  a  man  of  considerable  note  during  the  Revo- 
lution, commanded  a  company  in  the  battle  ofOriskany  and  was  placed 
on  the  pension  roll.  He  had  two  sons,  Joseph  and  Nicholas,  in  that 
battle,  the  former  of  whom  was  killed.  Nicholas  escaped  and  was 
subsequently  killed  and  scalped  about  a  mile  from  his  father's  house  on 
the  road  over  Fall  Hill.  Captain  Bell  had  charge  of  the  escort  which 
carried  the  wounded  General  Herkimer  from  the  battlefield  and  more 
than  thirty  miles  on  a  litter.  Captain  Bell  lived  on  Fall  Hill  within 
the  limits  of  the  patent  granted  to  his  wife's  father.  He  was  commis- 
sioned justice  of  the  peace  of  Tryon  county  February  2,  1778,  and 
again  in  Montgomery  county  July  8,  1784,  and  reappointed  March  27, 
1790.  He  had  two  sons  and  two  daughters.  One  of  the  daughters 
married  Henry  I.  Walrad  and  the  other  Peter  Waggoner.  The  late  Col. 
Joost  Bell  was  a  son  of  Nicholas. 

77/1?  Bellinger  {or  Pellinger)  Family. — There  were  five  persons  of 
this  name  who  were  grantees  under  the  Burnetsfield  patent,  two  of 
whom  were  married  women.  The  name  is  found  among  those  who 
volunteered  under  Colonel  Nicholson  in  the  expedition  against  Montreal 
in  171 1,  and  down  to  the  close  of  the  first  quarter  of  the  present  cent- 
ury the  name  was  a  conspicuous  one  for  numbers  in  the  county,  as  well 
as  the  high  regard  in  which  some  of  them  were  held.  In  the  Revolu- 
tion they  were  unyielding  in  their  adherence  to  the  patriot  cause.  Col. 
Peter  Bellinger,  whose  regiment  was  composed  of  the  militia  of  Ger- 
man Flats  and  Kingsland  districts,  and  Lieut.-Col.  Frederick  Bellinger, 
of  the  same  regiment,  participated  in  the  bloody  battle  of  Oriskany, 
and  the  latter  was  taken  prisoner  and  carried  to  Canada.  Col.  John 
Bellinger  was  also  in  the  battle  as  a  private.  Gen.  Christopher  P. 
Rellinsrer  was  horn  in  the  town  of  German  Flats,  and  became  an  exten- 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  73 

sive  farmer.  His  homestead  was  set  off  into  the  town  of  Little  Falls 
when  it  was  erected  in  1828.  He  was  many  times  chosen  for  the  office 
of  supervisor  and  justice  of  the  peace;  was  four  times  elected  member 
of  Assembly  within  fourteen  years.  In  1821  he  was  again  a  candidate 
for  the  Assembly  and  received  the  certificate  of  election,  but  was  un- 
seated soon  after  the  organization  of  the  house  upon  a  technical  con- 
struction of  the  returns.  In  the  fall  of  1823  he  was  elected  to  tlie 
Assembly,  and  it  devolved  upon  that  body  to  choose  the  electors  of 
president  and  vice-president  of  the  United  States,  or  provide  by  law 
for  some  other  method  of  appointment.  General  Bellinger  was 
appointed  on  the  committee  of  nine  to  which  was  referred  the  subject 
of  altering  the  law  prescribing  the  mode  of  choosing  electors.  The 
resulting  bill  to  that  end  was,  as  is  well  known,  defeated  in  the  Senate. 
This  was  the  last  time  General  Bellinger  represented  the  county  in  the 
Legislature.  When  the  war  of  iSi2-i5was  inaugurated  the  general 
had  attained  the  rank  of  colonel  in  one  of  the  county  militia  regiments, 
and  he  was  detached  by  Governor  Tomokins  to  take  command  of  one 
of  the  regiments  for  the  defense  of  the  northern  frontier  and  repaired 
with  his  command  to  Sackett's  Harbor  in  May,  18 12,  where  he 
rendered  efficient  service.  The  term  of  service  was  three  months 
and  at  its  expiration  the  regiment  was  discharged.  In  the  campaign 
of  1 8 14,  Colonel  Bellinger  made  a  military  tour  on  the  frontier  with 
the  patriotic  militia  of  the  county.  While  he  had  no  opportunity  of 
especially  distinguishing  himself,  he  was  noted  as  a  diligent  and  prudent 
officer.  Some  years  after  the  close  of  the  war  he  was  promoted  to  the 
rank  of  brigadier- general.  He  died  at  Little  Falls,  without  male 
descendants,  and  leaving  four   daughters. 

Major  Frederick  Bellinger  was  a  native  of  the  county.  He  repre- 
sented the  county  in  the  Assembly  in  1836,  and  was  otherwise  shown 
the  confidence  of  the  community.  He  died  at  Mohawk,  leaving  de- 
scendants. The  Bellinger  family  suffered  severely  during  the  raids  in 
the  valley  in  the  Revolution. 

The  Keslaer  or  Casler  Family. — This  family  was,  and  perhaps  now 
is,  one  of  the  most  numerous  of  the  Palatine  families  in  the  town 
of  Little  Falls.  The  name  is  derived  from  the  two  original  patentees, 
Johannes  and  Nicholas  Keslaer,  who  each  drew  one  hundred  acres  ;  no 


74  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

other  lands  were  drawn  by  persons  of  that  name.  Richard  Casler, 
who  died  at  a  venerable  age,  was  with  Colonel  Willett's  party  when 
Walter  N.  Butler  was  killed.  Before  his  death  he  told  Judge  Benton 
that  he  remembered  his  grandfather,  Johannes,  the  patentee.  His  father, 
Jacob,  and  his  uncle,  John,  were  both  in  the  Oriskany  battle.  A  small 
grist-mill  was  built  on  the  Casler  Creek  before  the  war,  which,  being 
stockaded,  protected  it  from  being  destroyed  by  the  enemy.  The  Petri 
and  Casler  families  were  connected  by  marriage.  Johan  Marks  Petri 
owned  lot  No,  12,  at  Little  Falls,  before  the  Revolution,  and  built  a  small 
grist-mill  in  the  first  place  on  Furnace  Creek.  The  mill  that  was  burned 
by  the  enemy,  a  relation  of  which  has  been  given  in  another  place,  was 
on  the  river,  and  supplied  with  water  from  it. 

Frederick  Casler,  a  descendant  of  one  of  the  patentees,  died  in  Octo- 
ber, 1849,  ^fid  his  father,  Jacob,  died  in  1822  ;  John  Jacob,  the  grand- 
father of  Frederick,  died  in  January,  181 1.  Jacob  and  George  Keslaer 
were  two  of  the  seventeen  patentees  of  Staley's  first  and  second  tracts, 
granted  in  1755.  Richard  Casler,  before  mentioned,  died  on  the  i8th 
of  September,  1855,  at  the  great  age  of  ninety-five  years. 

The  Editch  Family. — This  name  is  variously  written  and  printed 
as  Edigh,  Edich,  Itigh,  Ittigh  and  Ittich.  Michael  Ittich  was  one  of  the 
volunteers  in  Colonel  Nicholson's  expedition  in  171 1.  There  were 
four  persons  of  the  name  among  the  patentees,  but  it  is  not  known 
which  one  was  the  head  of  the  family  or  how  they  were  related. 
Michael  Itigh  was  one  of  the  patentees  of  Cornradt  Frank's  patent, 
granted  in  1765,  and  Hans  Michael  Ittig,  jr.,  and  Jacob  Ittigh  were 
patentees  of  Staley's  first  and  second  tracts,  granted  in  1755.  The 
name  is  still  extant  in  the  county. 

The  Fols  (or  Folts)  Family.  —  Jacob  Fols,  a  patentee,  took  lot  3  on 
the  south  side  of  the  river  and  a  short  distance  east  of  Frankfort  village, 
and  Melgert  (now  Melchert)  took  lots  2,  high  and  low  land,  on  the 
north  side.  Their  descendants  still  live  near  the  original  seat.  Two  of 
this  name  (spelled  Volts)  were  first  lieutenants  in  the  fourth  battalion 
of  the  county  militia  in  1775.  Mich.  Folts's  name  is  on  the  roll  of  vol- 
unteers with  Colonel  Nicholson.  Warner  F"olts  was  a  descendant  of 
Jacob  F'ols,  the  patentee ;  was  a  member  of  Assembly  in  1824,  and  a 
worthy  citizen  and  farmer.      Melchert  Folts,  a  son  of  one  of  the  patent- 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  75 

ees,  was  paymaster  of  the  militia  regiment  commanded  by  Col.  Henri 
Staring,  1786;  was  elected  the  first  town  clerk  of  Herkimer  in  March, 
1789;  was  also  a  justice  of  the  peace.  He  was  born  May  5,  1746,  and 
died  May  2,  1829 

The  Fox  FiDuily. — Christopher  I'^ox  was  a  patentee  who  took  a  lot 
in  the  vicinity  of  the  stone  church,  German  Flats,  and  his  descendants 
still  live  in  the  county.  Frederick  was  a  son  of  Christopher ;  wasafijst 
lieutenant  in  Captain  George  Herkheimer's  company,  Fourth  battalion 
of  county  militia.  In  1786  Peter  Fox  was  commissioned  ensign  in  Cap- 
tain Peter  P.  Belhnger's  company  of  Colonel  Staring's  regiment. 

The  Hclmcr  Family. — The  name  of  Helmer  is  still  found  in  Herki- 
mer and  adjoining  counties.  Of  the  six  patentees  of  the  name  in  the 
grant  of  1725,  two  were  married  women  whose  husbands  were  then  liv- 
ing. Philip  and  Frederick  were  probably  children  of  the  other  grantees. 
Lendert  Helmer,  one  of  the  original  patentees  of  Burnetsfield,  was  also 
grantee  of  lots  13,  21  and  38,  in  the  grant  of  1739,  called  Glen's  pur- 
chase. John  Adam  Helmer,  with  two  others,  was  sent  to  Fort  Schuy- 
ler on  the  day  before  the  Oriskany  battle  to  warn  Colonel  Gansevoort 
of  General  Herkimer's  approach.  Captain  Frederick  Helmer,  of  Col- 
onel Peter  Bellinger's  regiment,  was  killed  at  Oriskany.  John  Helmer 
has  already  been  mentioned  as  one  of  the  four  men  sent  out  to'  watch 
Brant's  movements  at  Unadilla,  and  was  the  only  one  of  the  four  tore- 
turn,  the  others  having  been  killed.  The  family  of  Burnetsfield  patent- 
ees were  Palatine  immigrants,  but  whether  of  the  party  of  17 10  or  of 
171 1,  is  not  known. 

The  Erghemar  (or  Herkimer)  Family.  — This  family  early  exhibited 
evidence  of  wealth  and  thrift  far  ahead  of  any  other  of  the  Palatine  set- 
tlers in  the  erection  of  fine  stone  dwellings  and  the  possession  of  broad 
domains  purchased  after  the  Burnet  grant.  Jurgh,  Johan  Jost,  Mada- 
lana  and  Catharine  Erghemar  were  each  patentees  under  the  Burnets- 
field grant.  One  hundred  acres  on  the  south  side  of  the  Mohawk  was 
allotted  to  each  of  them.  Judge  Benton  could  obtain  no  reliable  in- 
formation as  to  Jurgh,  or  George,  Herkimer,  and  moreover  asks  the 
question :  "  Was  the  Catharina  named  in  the  patent  and  who  drew  lot 
No.  5,  on  or  near  which  the  former  county  poor-house  was  erected,  the 
wife   of  Johan   Jost?"   adding,    "  If  Jurgh   and   Johan  Jost   were   not 


?6  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

brothers,  the  conclusion  seems  to  be  that  Johan  Jost,  subsequently 
known  as  Hanyost  Herkimer,  the  eider,  was  the  son  of  Jurgh.  If  Johan 
Jost  was  married  in  1725,  the  date  of  the  patent,  he  probably  had  no 
children  to  whom  lands  could  be  granted  according  to  its  terms.  The 
fact  is  well  known  that  lands  were  granted  to  children  whose  fathers  and 
mothers  are  named  as  patentees.  Madalana  and  Catharina  are  not 
described  as  married  women,  and  may  have  been  sisters  of  Hanyost  the 
elder ;  if  this  be  the  true  solution  of  this  matter,  they  probably  died 
unmarried,  or  sold  their  interest  in  the  lands  allotted  to  them,  for  we  find 
some  of  the  same  lands  in  the  possession  of  Hanyost  the  elder,  in  April, 
1 77  I.  This  Hanyost  left  a  grandson,  born  in  October,  175  i,  who  was 
the  issue  of  his  second  son,  Henry." 

This  name,  like  many  others  of  the  Palatines,  has  undergone  numer- 
ous changes  in  spelling.  In  1775  the  family  was  numerous  and  influ- 
ential and  generally  friendly  to  the  popular  cause  ;  all,  excepting  the 
general,  were  residents  of  the  German  Flats  district.  The  patentee, 
Jurgh  (or  George),  left  no  descendants,  unless  Johan  Jost  and  one  or 
both  of  the  females  named  were  his  children,  or  they  left  this  part  of  the 
country  before  the  Revolution.  There  is  no  information  left  of  any 
persons  of  that  name  except  those  who  trace  their  descent  from  Hanyost 
Herkimer,  the  elder. 

General  Nicholas  Herkimer  was  the  eldest  son  of  Johan  Jost  Herkimer, 
who  was  one  of  the  Burnetsfield  patentees  and  drew  lot  No.  36,  and  also 
one  of  the  patentees  of  the  Fall  Hill  tract  granted  in  1752  to  Johan  Jost 
llerchkeimer  and  Hendrick  Herchkeirher.  Nicholas  Herkimer  was 
commissioned  lieutenant  in  Capt.  William  Wormwood's  company  of  the 
Schenectady  battalion  on  the  5th  of  January,  1758.  He  commanded 
at  Fort  Herkimer  in  1758,  when  the  French  and  Indians  attacked  the 
settlement  on  the  south  side  of  the  river.  On  the  5th  of  September, 
1776,  he  was  commissioned  a  brigadier- general.  At  the  commence- 
ment of  the  Revolution  he  lived  in  the  Canajoharie  district  and  repre- 
sented that  district  in  the  county  committee  of  safety.  He  acted  as 
chairman  pro  tern,  of  the  Tryon  county  committee  of  safety  in  July  and 
August,  1775.  In  1760,  while  he  resided  in  the  Canajoharie  district, 
his  father  convej'ed  to  him  500  acres  of  land,  portions  of  the  Lindsay,  Liv- 
ingston and  Fall  Hill   patents,  with  a  small   island   in  the  river.     There 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  W 

the  family  mansion  was  erected,  substantially  as  it  stands  to-day.  He 
was  an  early  advocate  of  the  rights  of  the  colonists,  with  the  others  of 
his  family,  excepting  his  brother  Hanyost,  who  was  attainted  under  the 
act  of  1779.  General  Herkimer's  part  in  the  military  operations  of  the 
Revolution  have  already  been  described  in  a  general  way,  and  it  only 
remains  for  us  to  allude  to  the  charges  of  cowardice  or  inefficiency  that 
were  made  against  him  on  account  of  the  battle  of  Oriskany.  When 
General  Herkimer  was  hastening  by  forced  marches  and  with  a  small 
body  of  undisciplined  militia,  to  the  relief  of  Fort  Schuyler,  he  sent  a 
messenger  to  Colonel  Gansevoort  in  the  fort  to  arrange  for  co-opera- 
tion in  the  expected  battle,  a  sally  from  the  fort  to  be  made  upon  a  pre- 
concerted signal.  The  messenger  failed  to  reach  the  fort  in  time.  Gen- 
eral Herkimer's  force  was  not  sufficient  to  warrant  him  in  bringing  on  a 
battle  without  support  and  aid  ;  but  on  the  morning  of  August  6,  while 
awaiting  the  signal  of  the  sortie  from  the  fort,  several  of  the  general's 
officers  and  some  of  the  committee  of  safety  urged  an  immediate  advance. 
In  deference  to  their  continued  entreaties  he  finally  held  a  council  of  his 
principal  officers,  whom  he  warned  of  the  folly  of  bringing  on  a  battle 
with  the  force  at  their  command.  The  officers  would  not  listen  and 
some  of  them  went  so  far  as  to  charge  him  with  cowardice  or  toryism. 
Insulted  beyond  forbearance,  General  Herkimer  told  them  that  he  was 
entrusted  with  the  care  of  his  soldiers  as  well  as  with  their  leadership, 
and  that  he  could  not  place  them  in  a  position  in  which  his  judgment 
told  him  they  would  be  uselessly  slaughtered  ;  he  also  intimated  that 
those  who  were  now  taunting  him,  would  be  the  first  to  fly  in  action — a 
prophecy  which  was  fulfilled.  To  end  the  clamor  he  at  last  gave  the 
order  to  march.  The  consequences  are  well  known  and  have  been  re- 
corded on  the  pages  of  every  history  of  Revolutionary  battles.  The 
general  was  grievously  wounded  early  in  the  engagement,  but  continued 
to  command  his  men  until  the  end,  when  he  was  carried  from  the  field. 
His  conduct  after  he  received  his  wound  was  such  as  should,  and  it  does, 
surround  his  name  with  a  halo  of  honor  and  renown.  General  Herkimer 
died  from  hemorrhage  following  the  amputation  of  his  leg  in  his  own 
home.  When  he  became  convinced  that  his  hours  on  earth  were 
numbered  he  called  for  his  Bible  and  read  to  those  around  him  the  38th 
Psalm.  His  loss  was  deeply  deplored  by  the  inhabitants  of  Tryon  county. 
In  October  following  his  death  the  Continental  Congress  passed  a  reso- 


78 


HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 


lution  appropriating  $500  for  the  erection  of  a  monument  to  his  mem- 
ory, and  in  conniuinicaling  this  action  to  the  governor  of  New  York 
the  Congress  said  :  "  Every  mark  of  distinction  shown  to  the  memory 
of  such  illustrious  men  as  offer  up  their  hves  for  the  liberty  and  happi- 
ness of  this  country,  reflects  real  honor  on  those  who  pay  the  grateful 
tribute  ;  and  by  holding  up  to  others  the  prospect  of  fame  and  immor- 
tality, will  animate  them  to  tread  in  the  same  path."  The  resolution 
passed  by  Congress  has  never  been  carried  into  effect.  The  Oneida 
Historical  Society,  of  Utica,  however,  is  making  an  effort  to  secure  the 
passage  of  a  bill  by  the  Stale  Legislature  for  an  appropriation  to  im- 
prove the  ground  and  erect  a  monument  to  mark  the  place  where  the 
body  of  General  Merkimer  is  buried  This  is  a  matter  which  concerns 
every  patriotic  person,  for  General  Herkimer  won  the  pivotal  battle  of 
the  Revolution.  His  body  now  lies  in  a  pasture  in  the  town  of  Danube, 
midway  between  Little  Falls  and  Indian  Castle.  The  surroundings  are 
unfit,  and  the  stone  which  marks  the  grave  is  not  such  as  should  grace 
the  resting  place  of  the  hero  of  Oriskany. 


On  yonder  well-remembered  hill, 

Scarred  and  neglected,  old  and  grey. 
Rises  the  house,  recalling  still 

The  story  of  that  bloody  day. 
Deep,  clear  and  beautifully  bright. 

Through  fields  of  waving  grass  and  grain. 
Like  silver  flashing  in  the  light. 

The  Mohawk  flows  across  the  plain. 

Hail,  Mohawk  winding  through  the  dale  ! 

Hail,  fairest  stream  in  lovely  York  ! 
The  farms  and  homes  in  thy  sweet  vale 

Ring  with  the  harvest  song  !  hush  I  mark 
Yon  close  of  hallowed  ground  !  there  lies 

The  hero  Herkimer  who  gave 
His  blood  for  liberty ;  there  rise 

The  mound,  the  stone  above  his  grave. 

Into  a  deep  and  dark  ravine, 

By  the  Oriskany,  he  led 
His  band.    Sudden  from  out  the  green 

Wood  all  about  uprose  the  dread, 
Painted,  red-Indian,  ^-ell  on  yell. 

And  in  the  deadly  ambuscade. 
Like  the  mown  grass,  his  cohorts  fell 

Bleeding  beneath  the  reeking  blade. 


Lo  !  lowering  in  the  sullen  sky. 

Black  storm-clouds  gathered,  thick  and  fast. 
And  Hghtning  flashes  from  on  high 

Foretold  the  fury  of  the  blast. 
It  broke  ;  the  thunder,  peal  on  peal, 

Roared  high  above  the  horrid  din 
Of  cannon  and  the  clash  of  steel. 

Loud  echoing  through  the  blood-stained  glen 

Then  thrice  from  out  the  dark  morass, 

Above  that  fearful  roar,  the  cheer 
Uprose;  but  Herkimer,  alas! 

Fell  foremost  fighting.     He  did  hear 
That  shout  of  victory  where  he  lay 

Stretched  death-white  on  the  gory  ground. 
His  life's  blood  ebbing  fast  away. 

And,  dying,  knew  what  meant  that  sound. 

On  many  another  blood-red  field, 

For  truth  and  liberty,  our  brave 
Fathers  did  fight  and  never  yield  : 

They  struck  for  freedom  or  the  grave. 
And  freedom  gained:  Columbia  's  free  ; 

Her  flag  floats  o'er  her  mountain  heights. 
And  on  the  land,  and  on  the  sea. 

Guards  well  a  nation's  dear-bought  rights. 

Frank  H.  Willarp 


'  During  the  battle  of  Oriskany,  when  the  utter  annihilation  of  General  Herkimer's  troops 
seemed  almost  inevitable,  a  furious  storm  arose.  The  enemy  fled  for  shelter,  while  the  Americans, 
occupying  a  strong  position,  formed  themselves  so  as  to  be  able  to  hold  victorious  possession  of 

the  field. 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  79 

General  Herkimer  was  twice  married.'  Hi.s  will  was  proved  Octo- 
ber 4,  1783,  with  George  Herkimer  as  administrator.  The  "home 
place  "  was  devised  to  his  younger  brother  George,  and  he  was  consti- 
tuted his  residuary  legatee.  The  latter  lived  until  17S6,  and  left  seven 
children.  Various  members  of  the  families  descended  from  the  Herki- 
mers  live  in  different  parts  of  the  country,  but  not  one  of  the  name  is 
now  resident  in  Herkimer  county. 

John  Herkimer,  son  of  George,  inherited,  with  his  brothers  and 
sisters,  the  estate  devised  by  General  Herkimer  and  occupied  the 
family  mansion  until  about  1814.  He  was  an  active  politician;  repre- 
sented Montgomery  county  in  the  State  Assembly  and  after  the  town 
of  Danube  was  annexed  to  Herkimer  county,  was  appointed  one  of  the 
county  judges.  He  was  major  in  a  regiment  of  volunteers  in  the  last 
war  with  England  and  served  at  Sackett's  Harbor.  He  was  elected  to 
Congress  in  1822  and  was  an  efficient  member  of  that  body.  He  died  at 
his  residence  in  Danube  at  the  age  of  seventy-three  years,  leaving  no 
male  descendants. 

The  Her ter  Family. — The  lands  allotted  to  Apolone  and  Lawrence 
Herter  were  on  the  south  side  of  the  river,  but  some  of  the  family  re- 
moved to  the  north  side  in  early  years  Some  of  the  family  were  at  the 
Great  Flats  at  the  time  of  the  French  expedition  in  1757,  where  one  of 
the  Herters  was  taken  prisoner  with  his  wife  and  children  and  carried 
to  Canada,  where  they  were  kept  about  a  year.  A  daughter  born  to 
Mrs.  Herter  while  crossing  the  St.  Lawrence  river  in  a  birch-bark 
canoe,  afterwards  became  the  wife  of  Michael  Myers.  Henry  Herter 
was  appointed  first  lieutenant  in  Capt.  Frederick  Bellinger's  company 
of  militia  in  1775.  Nicholas  and  Philip  Herter  settled  in  Deerfield, 
Oneida  county,  after  the  Revolution.  Numerous  descendants  of  this 
family  are  still  residents  of  Herkimer  county. 

The  Hess  Family. — Augustine  Hess  was  the  patentee  of  lot  No.  10  at 
Little  Falls.  Previous  to  and  during  the  Revolutionary  period  the 
name  was  quite  numerous  in  the  Mohawk  valley.  Augustine  Hess,  a 
son  of  the  patentee,  was  a  member  of  the  Tryon  county  committee  of 
safety  from  the  Kingsland  and  German  Flats  districts.     The  elder  Au- 

'  The  late  Samuel  Earl  wrote  of  the  general  as  follows  ;  "The  general  was  a  kind  hearted  and 
benevolent  man  and  a  good  Christian  neighbor.  He  was  iust  such  a  character  as  would  make  him 
beloved  by  those  who  knew  him.    He  was  without  guile  or  deceit,  generous,  brave  and  honest." 


80  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

gustine  was  a  patentee,  also,  of  Staley's  first  and  second  tracts ;  he  was 
killed  in  July,  1782,  by  the  Indians  near  Fort  Herkimer,  while  on  his 
way  to  the  fort  with  his  family. 

The  Kast  Family — Johan  Jurgh  Kast  and  his  son  of  the  same  name 
were  patentees  and  each  drew  a  small  lot  on  the  Great  Flats  and  seventy 
acre  lots  on  the  uplands,  in  the  Burnetsfield  tract.  In  1724  a  grant  of 
r,ioo  acres  was  made  to  the  wife  and  children  of  the  elder  Kast,  situ- 
ated in  Schuyler  and  surrounded  by  Cosby's  manor  ;  descendants  of 
the  family  lived  there  many  years.  Besides  Johan  Jurgh,  the  elder  Kast 
had  a  son  Lodovvick.  Johan  Jurgh,  the  younger,  had  two  sons,  Conrad 
and  Frederick.  The  former  was  taken  prisoner  in  1757,  carried  to 
England,  and  after  his  exchange  and  return  to  New  York,  enlisted  in 
the  British  army  and  never  returned  to  the  Mohawk  vallej'.  Descend- 
ants of  Frederick  still  live  in  Herkimer  county. 

The  Petrie  Family. — Johan  Jost  Petrie  was  one  of  the  Burnetsfield 
patentees  and  lands  were  allotted  to  him,  to  his  wife,  Gertrude,  and  to 
his  son  Mark  (or  Marks).  The  name  occurs  among  those  who  volun- 
teered for  Colonel  Nicholson's  expedition.  The  patentee  came  over 
with  the  second  company  of  Palatines  in  1710  and  came  to  German 
Flats  from  Livingston's  manor.  He  and  Coenradt  Rickert  were  the 
prominent  and  leading  men  of  the  little  colony  which  first  settled  here. 
He  was  named  first  in  the  license  given  by  Governor  Burnet  to  purchase 
the  Indian  title  to  the  lands  afterwards  granted,  and  also  the  first  named 
in  the  patent.  The  eighty-six  acre  lot,  long  known  as  the  Stone  Ridge, 
was  allotted  to  his  wife.  The  present  village  of  Herkimer  is  large- 
ly situated  on  this  lot.  Surrounded  by  rich  flat  lands  subject  to  in- 
undations, settlers  expressed  their  dissatisfaction  when  they  learned 
that  safe  building  lots  could  be  had  only  on  this  ridge,  and  Mr. 
Petrie  therefore  generously  divided  the  large  lot  into  smaller  parcels 
and  gave  them  to  the  owners  of  the  adjoining  low  lands.  When  the 
French  and  Indians  destroyed  the  settlements  on  the  north  side  of 
the  river,  November  11,  1757,  all  his  property  save  the  land  was  taken 
and  destroyed  and  he  and  his  family  carried  into  captivity.  He  was  the 
person  named  in  the  French  account  of  that  raid  as  "the  mayor  of  the 
villatje  of  the  Palatines."  Mr.  Petrie  remained  some  time  in  captivity. 
He  was  one  of  the  co-patentees  with  Philip  Livingston  and  John   De 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  81 

Peysterof  a  grant  of  6,ooo  acres  of  land  made  in  1740,  comprising  six 
lots  in  a  tract  called  Henderson's  or  Petrie's  purchase,  lying  in  the  pres- 
ent towns  of  Columbia  and  Warren.  He  died  before  the  beginning  of 
the  Revolutionary  War,  leaving  a  large  number  of  descendants,  and 
nearly  all  of  the  people  of  this  name  in  the  county  trace  their  lineage 
to  him.  John  Petrie,  a  son  of  the  patentee,  was  a  member  of  the  Tryon 
county  committee  from  the  German  Flats  and  Kingsland  districts 
which  met  in  June,  1775.  He  was  also  appointed  by  the  Tryon 
county  committee  August  16,  1779,  one  of  the  delegates  from  the 
county  to  a  State  convention  called  to  consider  measures  "  for  appre- 
ciating the  currency,  restraining  e.Ktortion,  regulating  prices,  and  other 
similar  purposes."  A  commission  is  in  existence  issued  to  Ded'k 
Marcus  Petrie,  gentleman,  dated  October  13,  1768,  by  which  Mr.  Petrie 
was  appointed  "  to  be  Ensign  of  a  company  of  Militia  Foot  in  a  regi- 
ment in  Albany  county,  of  which  company  George  Henry  Bell  esq.  is 
captain."  Mr.  Petrie  held  this  commission  until  the  country  changed 
rulers,  when  he  was  appointed  a  lieutenant  in  the  Tryon  county  militia. 
He  was  killed  in  the  battle  of  Oriskany  while  serving  in  Col.  Peter  Bell- 
inger's regiment.  John  M.  Petrie,  assemblyman  in  1808-9,  was  a 
nephew  of  Lieutenant  Petrie,  the  son  of  the  patentee,  Mark  Petrie,  and 
consequently  grandson  of  the  original  settler,  Johan  Jost.  John  M. 
occupied  for  some  time  the  Burnetsfield  lot  No.  46,  and  afterwards 
changed  his  residence  to  a  farm  on  Glen's  purchase  a  few  miles 
north  of  Little  Falls,  where  he  died  respected  by  the  community. 
There  were  two  brothers,  sons  of  Ded'k  Marcus  Petrie,  named  Jost  D. 
and  John  D.,  who  were  prosperous  farmers  and  land  owners  and  left 
their  estates  to  their  children.  Daniel  Petrie,  a  member  of  this  family, 
was  killed  at  the  destruction  of  the  Little  Falls  mill,  in  1782,  as  before 
described.  Many  descendants  of  the  Petrie  family  still  reside  in  this 
county.      (See  history  of  the  town  of  Herkimer.) 

The  Reek  (or  Reall)  Family.  —  Lot  No.  15,  lowland  (thirty  acres), 
and  lot  No,  15,  woodland  (seventy  acres)  at  the  German  Flats  were 
granted  to  Godfrey  Reele,  jr.  Christian  Reall  settled  near  Deerfield 
Corners,  Oneida  county,  with  several  other  Germans,  before  the  Revolu- 
tion. In  the  second  year  of  the  war  the  settlement  was  destroyed,  but 
the  inhabitants  escaped  to  a  stockade  near  by.  After  the  war  Mr.  Reall 


82  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COT'NTY. 

returned  to  Deerfield.  Not  long  afterward  most  or  all  of  the  survivors 
of  the  family  removed  to  what  is  now  Onondaga  county.  One  member 
of  the  family  afterward  returned  and  lived  in  Little  Falls.  The  name 
was  never  numerous  in  the  county. 

The  Shoemakers — Ludolph  (afterwards  called  Rudolph)  and  Thomas 
Shoemaker  were  patentees,  and  both  of  them  were  young  and  unmar- 
ried when  they  came  to  German  Fiats.  Rudolph  had  several  sons,  one 
of  whom,  Johan  Jost,  married  the  daughter  of  an  Englishman  n;imed 
Smith,  the  fame  of  whose  eccentricities  and  devotion  to  the  British 
crown  still  occupies  considerable  space  in  the  unwritten  history  of  the 
valley.  Johan  Jost  had  been  one  of  his  majesty's  justices  of  the  peace 
in  Tryon  county  and  was  not  friendly  to  the  colonists  ;  but  he  was  not 
molested  in  person  or  property,  leading  to  the  conclusion  that  he  was  a 
passive,  rather  than  an  active  adherent  to  royalty.  Judge  Benton  said  : 
"  With  the  exception  of  one  member  of  the  Herkimer  family,  I  do  not 
find  any  other  name  of  note  belonging  to  the  Palatine  emigrants  or  their 
descendants  who  faltered  in  their  duty  to  their  country  and  the  cause  of 
humanity."  Rudolph  L.  Shoemaker,  member  of  Assembly  from  this 
county  in  1812-13,  was  a  son  of  Johan  Jost.  He  was  a  farmer  and 
lived  and  died  in  the  present  town  of  German  Flats,  not  far  from  the 
site  of  the  village  of  Mohawk.  He  was  a  warm  supporter  of  the  War  of 
1812.  Robert  Shoemaker,  a  younger  brother  of  Rudolph  L.,  was  ap- 
pointed sheriff  of  the  county  in  18 17  and  held  the  office  several  years; 
he  was  a  prompt  and  efficient  officer.  He  also  represented  the  county  in 
the  Assembly  in  1822.  Late  in  life  he  removed  with  his  family  to 
Illinois  and  died  there.  Thomas  Shoemaker,  the  patentee,  had  a  nu- 
merous family,  among  whom  was  a  son  of  the  same  name,  who  partici- 
pated in  the  battle  of  Oriskany,  and  afterwards  his  wife  and  one  of  his 
children  (Christopher)  and  a  son  of  John  Shoemaker,  then  quite  young, 
were  taken  prisoners  and  carried  to  Canada.  There  are  now  many 
descendants  of  the  Shoemaker  families  in  Herkimer  county. 

The  Smith  Family. — The  Schmidts  were  among  the  cmigiants  of 
i/ioandfora  time  remained  at  the  camps  on  Livingston's  manor. 
Four  of  the  name  came  to  the  Great  t'lats,  two  of  wiioin  settled  on  the 
north  side  and  two  on  the  south  side  of  the  river.  Adam  Michael 
Schmidt  was  one  of  the   volunteers  with    Colonel   Nicholson  in  1711. 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  83 

Descendants  of  the  patentees  were  for  many  years  quite  numerous  in 
the  county,  but  many  removed  to  otht^  localities.  Colonel  Nicholas 
Smith,  a  prominent  resident  of  Utica  in  recent  years,  lost  his  parents  at 
the  hands  of  Indians  and  tories  during  the  Revolution.  In  common  with 
the  other  patentees  of  Burnetsfield,  the  family  felt  its  share  of  suffering 
during  that  struggle. 

The  Starings. — There  were  six  males  and  one  married  female  of  this 
name  among  the  Burnetsfield  patentees.  The  name  was  once  numer- 
ous in  the  county.  Hendrick  Staring  (who  often  wrote  his  name 
Henri)  was  a  man  of  some  note  in  the  Revolution  and  substquently.  A 
native  of  the  county,  he  lived  and  died  within  the  limits  of  the  present 
town  of  Schuyler.  He  was  one  of  the  few  survivors  of  the  Oriskany 
battle  and  from  that  time  held  prominent  office  in  the  militia  of  the  dis- 
trict, soon  attainingthe  rank  of  colonel.  Late  in  the  fall  of  1781  he  was 
so  unfortunate  as  to  be  surrounded  and  captured  near  Fort  Herkimer, 
with  Abraham  Wollever,  by  a  party  of  Indians.  Believing  it  was  the 
intention  of  his  captors  to  put  him  to  death  by  torture,  the  colonel 
managed  to  effect  his  escape  during  the  first  night  after  he  was  taken 
and  returned  to  the  fort  after  an  absence  of  two  days  and  nights.  He 
lived  near  the  small  stream  known  as  Staring's  Creek,  in  Schuyler,  on 
which  there  was  a  grist-mill  which,  it  will  be  remembered,  was  burned  by 
the  French  and  Indians  in  1757,  was  rebuilt  and  again  destroyed  dur- 
ing the  Revolution.  Though  of  limited  education.  Colonel  Staring  was 
a  man  of  thrift,  became  owner  of  large  landed  estates,  and  was  conspic- 
uous for  his  general  intelligence  and  good  judgment.  After  the  estab- 
lishment of  peace,  he  was  a  member  of  the  convention  from  Montgom- 
ery county,  called  in  1788,  to  consider  the  United  States  constitution, 
which  had  been  submitted  to  the  several  States  for  ratification.  He  was 
an  ardent  friend  of  Governor  Clinton,  who,  with  a  large  majority  of  the 
convention  when  elected,  were  opposed  to  the  ratification  of  the  con- 
stitution, and  it  is  supposed  that  he  voted  that  way.  Upon  the  organ- 
ization of  Herkimer  county  in  179 1  Colonel  Staring  was  appointed  first 
judge  of  the  court  of  Common  Pleas,  and  held  the  office  many  years. 
Many  curious  and  amusing  stories  have  been  told  of  the  methods  of 
administering  justice  followed  by  Judge  Staring  ;  but  he  was  an  honest, 
straightforward  man  and  filled  his  position   for   the   good  of  the   com- 


S4  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

munity,  if  not  always  according  to  the  acknowledged  proprieties  of  the 
bench.  The  judge  died  in  the  town  of  Schuyler,  leaving  male  and 
female  descendants.  His  wife  was  a  daughter  of  Johan  Jurgh  Kast,  and 
through  her  he  obtained  title  to  about  600  acres  of  the  Kast  patent, 
which  he  left  to  his  children. 

The  Temojttli  Family. — This  name  appears  in  the  Palatine  records 
as  Demot  and  Demouth,  and  others  not  accustomed  to  the  German 
method  of  spelling  often  wrote  the  name  Damewood.  John  Jost  parted 
with  the  lot  of  land  granted  him  at  Little  Falls  before  the  Revolution, 
and  probably  before  1757,  as  no  trace  of  the  family  is  found  near 
that  place.  During  the  Revolution,  the  Demouths  were  in  the  vicinity 
of  Herkimer.  Captain  Demouth  was  with  John  Adam  Helmer  in  the 
dangerous  service  of  carrying  a  message  to  Colonel  Gansevoort  during 
t!ie  siege  of  Fort  Schuyler,  as  before  related.  After  the  close  of  the 
war  some  of  the  Demouths  migrated  to  Onondaga  county  with  the 
Realls.     There  are  very  few  of  the  name  now  resident  in  this  county. 

The  Welleven  {or  Wol/eaver)  Family. — This  name  is  written  VVoll- 
eben  and  Wohleben  in  the  list  of  heads  of  Palatine  families  on  the  west 
side  of  the  Hudson  in  1710.  Nicholas  W.  was  a  patentee  in  Burnets- 
field  and  also  in  Staley's  first  and  second  tracts,  and  died  in  1773, 
leaving  six  sons,  Henry,  Peter,  Richard,  John,  Abraham  and  Jacob  ; 
and  six  daughters,  Catharine,  wife  of  Frederick  Shoemaker ;  Mary 
Sophia,  wife  of  Peter  Flagg ;  Elizabeth,  wife  of  Frederick  Schute  ; 
Lany,  wife  of  Frederick  Bellinger;  and  Hannah,  wife  of  John  Emgie, 
or  Empie,  who  was  a  tory  and  went  witli  his  family  to  Canada.  Richard, 
John,  Peter,  and  Abraham  were  in  the  battle  at  Oriskany  ;  the  two 
former  were  killed,  the  others  returning,  Peter  with  a  .slight  wound. 
Peter  was  one  of  the  party  in  the  Little  Falls  mill  when  it  was  burned, 
and  made  his  escape.  Peter  Wolleaver  lived  on  the  farm  in  Manheim 
afterward  known  as  the  Christy  place,  which  he  hired  of  Joseph 
Brant,  the  Mohawk  chief  When  the  chief  sent  word  to  him  in  1777 
that  he  would  come  and  tomahawk  him  if  he  did  not  immediately 
leave  the  farm,  Wolleaver  removed  to  Fort  Herkimer  with  his  family 
in  the  fall  of  that  year,  and  remained  there  until  the  close  of  the  war. 
He  had  three  sons  who  reached  manhood,  Nicholas,  John  and  Henry. 
His  daughters    were  Elizabeth,  wife  of  Frederick   Shoemaker  ;    Cath- 


THE  REVOLUTIONARY  PERIOD.  85 

arine,  wife  of  Garret  Van  Slyke  ;  Susan,  wife  of  Jacob  Edick  ;  Han- 
nah, who  married  a  Mr.  Furman  ;  Mary,  wife  of  Mr.  White,  and  Eva 
who  married  Stanton  Fox.  Abraham  Wolleaver,  one  of  the  patentee's 
sons,  was  taken  prisoner  in  October,  178 1,  with  Henry  Staring  near 
Fort  Herkimer ;  was  knocked  down  soon  afterward,  tomahawked  and 
scalped  by  his  captors  and  left,  while  they  went  on  with  their  other 
prisoner  towards  Oneida.  Abraham  survived  his  terrible  injuries;  was 
out  two  nights,  his  feet  being  frozen,  and  near  sunset  of  the  third  day 
was  brought  to  the  fort.      He  lived  a  number  of  years  afterward. 

The  Wever  {or  Weaver)  Family. — This  name  appears  on  the  Living- 
ston's manor  lists  as  Weber  and  Webber.  Jacob  and  Nicholas  were 
among  the  volunteers  in  the  Montreal  expedition  of  171 1.  Peter  J. 
Weaver  was  an  ensign  in  1775  in  the  Fourth  battalion  of  militia  of  the 
county.  Some  of  the  family  settled  in  Deerfield,  Oneida  county,  in 
1773.  George  L.  Weaver  was  taken  prisoner  during  the  Revolution 
and  held  in  captivity  about  two  years,  suffering  much  inhuman  treat- 
ment. Four  hundred  acres  of  land  were  assigned  to  this  family,  two 
hundred  on  the  north  and  two  hundred  on  the  south  side  of  the  river. 
Descendants  of  the  family  still  reside  in  the  county. 

This  chapter  may  be  fittingly  concluded  with  the  words  of  the  late 
Chancellor  Haven  in  speaking  of  the  men  who  fought  the  battle  of 
Oriskany:  "  Tlie  men  who  fought  this  battle  were  good  specimens  of 
a  peculiar  people.  They  had  been  sifted  out  of  Europe  by  a  process 
of  natural  and  gracious  selection.  They  came  across  the  ocean — or 
their  fathers  and  mothers  did — not  for  money,  but  for  liberty  and 
religion.  They  lived  in  log  houses,  but  they  went  to  log  churches 
and  their  children  to  log  school-houses.  They  ate  from  wooden 
dishes  and  were  clad  in  homespun,  but  they  read  the  Bible  and  gov- 
erned themselves.  They  had  wooden  plows  and  used  sickles  instead 
of  reaping  machines,  and  their  only  sewing  machines  were  their 
mothers  and  wives  and  sweethearts  ;  but  these  could  put  a  music  into 
their  rural  life  far  better  than  the  noise  of  the  modern  machine.  There 
was  not  a  pauper  nor  an  ignoramus  among  them.  They  were  the  hap- 
piest and  the  best  people  on  earth.  Such  a  people  fought  the  battle 
of  Oriskany — nay,   the  battle  of  freedom  for  all  mankind." 


86  niSTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

CHAPTER  V. 

GROWTH    AND    PROGRESS. 

WITH  the  dawn  of  peace  and  the  return  of  prisoners  and  refugees, 
industry  and  resultant  prosperity  and  contentment  settled  down 
upon  the  Mohawk  valley.  The  same  spirit  of  patriotic  determination 
which  had  impelled  the  settlers  to  risk  their  lives  and  endure  suffering 
and  loss  for  the  permanent  establishment  of  homes  in  a  free  country, 
now  enabled  them  to  take  up  with  renewed  energy  the  tilling  of  their 
farms,  the  building  of  mills,  the  construction  of  roads  and  other  labors 
for  the  development  of  their  chosen  valley. 

In  early  times,  before  the  Revolution,  the  road  through  the  valley 
came  into  what  is  now  Herkimer  county  from  the  west,  on  the  south  side 
of  the  Mohawk,  and  continued  on  to  Canajoharie.  At  a  distance  of 
fifteen  miles  from  Fort  Herkimer  a  road  crossed  the  river  and  continued 
on  eastward  on  the  north  bank.  The  river  served  for  many  years  as  a 
waterway  for  the  transportation  of  freight  and  passengers  in  large  fiat 
boats,  called  bateaux.  But  this  mode  of  travel  was  greatly  interfered 
with  by  the  rapids  at  Little  Falls,  a  fact  that  led  in  1792  to  the  incor- 
poration of  the  Western  Inland  Lock  Navigation  Company.  After  the 
full  organization  of  this  company,  about  thirty  directors  pushed  ahead 
the  contemplated  work,  and  four  years  later  the  canal  around  the  falls 
was  finished,  another  across  the  portage  at  Rome,  with  various  improve- 
ments in  Wood  Creek  and  the  Oneida,  Seneca  and  Oswego  Rivers. 
The  engraving,  "  Little  Falls  in  1892"  printed  in  the  history  of  that 
town  in  later  pages,  shows  the  course  of  the  canal  and  the  location  of 
the  locks  at  Little  Falls.  Much  of  the  masonry  built  at  that  point 
a  hundred  years  ago  is  still  in  good  preservation.  This  improvement 
was  of  immense  benefit  in  opening  up  the  country  and  it  was  esti- 
mated about  the  year  1812  that  three  hundred  boats  with  1,500  tons 
of  meicliandiSc  pa  scil  through  the  canal  at  the  Rome  portage  in  a 
single  year.     After  the  enlargement  of   the    locks    the    boats  carried 


88  niSTORT  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

twenty  tons  or  more  in  high  water,  and  half  as  much  at  other  times. 
Tliese  craft  were  known  as  Durham  boats,  were  low  and  open,  with 
a  walking  board  along  the  gunwale.  They  were  propelled  by  means 
of  long  poles  thrust  into  the  river  bottom  and  pushed  with  the  shoul- 
ders of  men  who  walked  from  end  to  end  of  the  boat.  A  Schenec- 
tady paper  of  1803  in  describing  one  of  the  boats  said:  "She  is 
sixty-three  feet  keel,  eleven  feet  wide,  and  two  feet  three  inches  deep. 
When  loaded  she  draws  two  feet  of  water  and  will  carry  twenty - 
four  tons.  She  now  brought  down  250  bushels  of  wheat  and  will  next 
trip  bring  800." 

Previous  to  the  Revolution,  and  perhaps  after  that  event,  many  roads 
were  not  fenced  and  had  gates  across  them  at  the  crossing  of  farm  lines. 
The  late  Samuel  Earl  said  that  there  was  such  a  road  in  earlj'  times  on 
the  south  side  of  the  river  where  the  public  road  now  is,  and  one  across 
the  flats  between  l""orts  Herkimer  and  Dayton,  called  the  King's  road  ; 
this  extended  west  over  "  Oak  Hill  "  and  thence  to  Oswego. 

Regarding  this  road  an  interesting  letter  has  been  found  among  the 
papers  of  the  late  Mr  Earl,  from  which  it  appears  that  Sir  William 
Johnson  wrote  John  Jost  Herkimer,  John  Jost  Petrie,  and  John  Conrad 
Frank,  on  the  22d  of  July,  1756,  in  regard  to  their  aiding  in  opening 
the  road.      A  reply  fiom  Herkimer  and  Frank  is  as  follows : 

Hon.  Sir. 

We  have  the  honour  of  yours  of  the  22d  ulli'o  about  laying  out  a  road  from  here 
to  Oswego,  throu'  the  Si.v  Nations,  and  as  for  my  part,  Han  Yost  Petri,  I  am  old,  and 
lame  in  one  of  my  hips,  jmd  it  is  not  in  my  power  to  undertake  any  such  fatigue,  and 
tor  me,  Jost  Herkimer,  I  dare  not  leave  my  house  upon  account  of  the  military  for 
they  terrorize  over  me  as  they  think  proper,  wether  the  commander  or  tlie  common  sol- 
diers, in  short  they  take  a  prerogative  power  in  their  own  hands — not  only  in  infesting 
mv  hou.se  and  taking  up  niy  rooms  at  pleasure,  but  take  what  they  think  necessary  of 
my  effects  for  their  own  use  without  asking.  And  if  such  doings  is  allowed  to  go  on, 
not  only  I  and  my  family  must  suffer,  but  also  all  my  neighbors. 

And  as  for  my  part,  Coniad  I'Vank,  it  is  not  possible  for  me  to  undertake  it  upon  ac- 
count of  soldiers  *  *  for  my  house  is  full  either  of  one  sort  or  another,  and  within 
this  short  lime  have  suffered  considerable  by  the  soldiers  of  Capt.  Harris  command, 
for  they  not  only  use  my  house  as  they  thought  proper,  but  likewise  tocik  whatever  of  my 
live  cattle  they  thought  proper  fir  their  use,  without  either  asking  liherly  or  paying  me 
for  tlieir  value,  and  .supposing  I  .should  undertake  such  a  thing  and  U^ave  my  house,  I  must 
I  imagine  never  see  eitiier  my  wife  or  children  again  ;  and  notwithstanding  all  the  en- 
deavors we  and  all  of  us  have  made  we  could  not  find  anyone  that  would  undertake 


GROAVTH  AND  PROGRESS.  89 

such  a  piece  of  work.  Aud  although  we  and  all  of  us  would  be  ready  and  willing  to 
do  anything  that  would  tend  to  his  majesties  honor  or  the  good  of  our  country,  yet  as 
matters  stand  we  must  be  excused.     We  remain  with  due  regard  Hon.  Sir, 

Your  Hum.  and  obedient  serv'ts, 

John  Jost  Herkimer. 

John  Conrad  Frank. 

In  April,  1790,  the  State  appropriated  ;^iOO  "for  the  ptirpose  of 
erecting  a  bridge  across  the  East  Canada  Creek,  not  exceeding  tliree 
miles  from  the  mouth  thereof,  upon  the  road  from  the  Mohawk  River  to 
the  Royal  Grant."  Three  years  later  the  Legislature  provided  for  the 
erection  of  a  bridge  over  East  Canada  Creek,  "  nearly  opposite  the 
Canajoharie  Castle,  on  the  public  road  leading  from  Tribes  Hill  to  the 
Little  Falls  ;  "  and  another  over  the  West  Canada  Creek  "  on  the  public 
road  or  highway  leading  from  the  Little  Falls  to  Fort  Stanwix."  A  still 
more  important  improvement  was  made  through  the  charter  of  a  com- 
pany in  April,  1800,  for  the  construction  of  the  Mohawk  turnpike  along 
the  north  bank  of  the  river  from  Schenectadj'  to  Utica.  The  work  was 
done  within  the  next  few  years,  under  the  direction  of  Seth  Wetmore, 
a  surveyor,  who  died  in  Canajoharie  in  1836.  This  road  became  a  part 
of  the  great  east  and  west  highway  from  Albany  to  Buffalo.  These 
means  of  transportation  sufficed  for  the  inhabitants  until  the  construc- 
tion of  the  Erie  canal  in   1825. 

Other  highways  that  passed  through  parts  of  this  county  and  were  of 
considerable  importance  to  the  inhabitants,  were  the  State  road,  so 
called  because  it  was  constructed  by  the  State  through  the  medium  of 
a  lottery,  authorized  in  1803,  to  raise  $41,500.  This  road  ran  from 
Johnstown  through  the  Black  River  country  to  Sackett's  Harbor,  pass- 
ing through  parts  of  Manheim,  Salisbury,  and  the  towns  of  Norway  and 
Russia.  The  road  was  much  used  in  the  early  years  of  the  present 
century. 

In  1804  the  Fall  Hill  Turnpike  and  Bridge  Company  was  incorpo- 
rated and  authorized  to  build  a  toll  bridge  over  the  Mohawk  River 
at  Little  Falls,  and  construct  a  road  from  the  house  of  Ira  Crane  in 
Minden,  Montgomery  county,  to  the  Mohawk  River,  thence  along  the 
river  'o  Henry  A.  Vrooman's  in  German  Flats,  and  thence  to  Samuel 
Abbott's  house  and  Kassler's  Mills.  The  principal  object  of  this  road 
12 


90  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

was  to  avoid  climbing  the  steeps  at  Fall  Hill.  The  bridge  was  erected 
and  used  many  years,  but  the  road  was  not  constructed. 

In  the  year  iSo6  coinmissioncrs  were  appointed  to  lay  out  and 
straighten  the  road  on  the  south  side  of  the  Mohawk  River  from  Sche- 
nectady to  Utica,  wherever  it  seemed  expedient.  The  towns  through 
which  this  highway  passed  were  required  to  work  it  and  keep  it  in 
order. 

The  Great  Western  Turnpike  passed  through  the  southeast  corner  of 
the  town  of  Warren,  a  distance  of  a  few  miles,  but  did  not  touch  the 
Mohawk  valley. 

The  Minden  and  Utica  Turnpike  Company  was  incorporated  in 
1809,  the  line  designated  to  pass  through  the  present  towns  of  Stark, 
Warren,  Columbia,  Litchfield  and  the  southwest  corner  of  Frankfort. 
Parts  of  this  turnpike  were  finished  and  one  or  more  gates  erected  for 
collection  of  tolls,  but  it  was  abandoned  many  years  ago. 

In  1834  Colonel  Jeremiah  Drake  projected  a  railroad  to  connect  with 
the  Utica  and  Schenectady  line  about  two  miles  east  of  Little  Falls,  and 
running  northerly  a  distance  of  about  fifteen  miles  in  this  county.  The 
incorporation  act  was  passed,  surveys  made,  etc.,  the  route  to  pass 
through  Manheim  Center,  Wintonville  and  Salisbury  Center  to  Dever- 
eaux.  Failing  to  interest  capitalists  in  the  project,  Colonel  Drake  was 
forced  to  abandon  it.  (See  account  of  Little  Falls  and  Dolgeville  Rail- 
road.) 

It  was  over  these  early  higliways  that  the  great  stage  business  of  that 
period  was  conducted  ;  and  even  after  the  later  construction  of  the 
canal  and  railroad,  it  was  several  years  before  those  more  modern  and 
rapid  methods  of  travel  could  displace  the  four  horse  coaches  to  which 
the  people  had  become  accustomed.  One  of  the  earliest  as  well  as  most 
successful  of  the  old  stage  managers  was  Jason  Parker,  of  Utica,  with 
his  later  partners.  He  began  running  a  stage  between  Albany  and  old 
Fort  Schuyler  in  August,  1795,  and  thus  announced  his  undertaking: 
"The  mail  leaves  Whitestown  every  Monday  and  Thursday  at  2  o'clock 
p.  m.,  and  proceeds  to  Old  Fort  Schuyler  the  same  evening;  next 
morning  starts  at  4  o'clock  and  arrives  in  Canajoharie  in  the  evening, 
exchanges  passengers  with  the  Albany  and  Cooperstown  stages,  and 
the  next  day  returns  to  Old  Fort  Schuyler.      Fare  for  passengers,  $2.00; 


GROWTH  AND  PROGRESS.  Ol 

way  passengers,  four  cents  a  mile,  fourteen  pounds  of  baggage  gratis. 
Seats  may  be  had  by  applying  at  the  post-office,  Whitestown,  at  the 
house  of  the  subscriber,  Old  Fort  Schuylei,  or  at  Captain  Root's,  Cana- 
joharie  "  Parker's  early  experience  was  not  profitable  and  he  had  to 
apply  to  the  Legislature  in  1797  for  aid.  By  September,  1810,  greater 
expedition  was  attained  on  this  route  and  a  daily  line  of  stages  passed 
over  the  road.  In  1810-11  Joshua  Ostroni  and  his  partners,  also  of 
Utica,  came  into  competition  with  Parker  and  announced  that  a  new 
line  of  steamboat  stages  would  leave  Albany  Monday  and  Friday,  and 
Utica  Monday  and  Thursday.  These  trips  were  made  more  often  a 
little  later  and  the  competition  between  the  lines  became  exceedingly 
active.  Parker  &  Powell  announced  in  1811  :  "  Eight  changes  of  horses. 
The  mail  stage  now  leaves  Bagg's,  Utica,  every  morning  at  4  o'clock. 
Passengers  will  breakfast  at  Maynard's,  Herkimer,  dine  at  Josiah  Shep- 
ard's.  Palatine,  and  sup  (on  oysters)  at  Thomas  Powell's  Tontine  Coffee 
House,  Schenectady.  The  ladies  and  gentlemen  who  will  favor  this 
line  with  their  patronage  may  be  assured  of  having  good  horses,  attent- 
ive drivers,  warm  carriages,  and  that  there  shall  not  be  any  running 
or  racing  of  horses  on  the  line." 

Then  the  rivals,  unencumbered  by  mails,  announced  themselves 
ready  to  "  go  through  in  one  day,  unless  the  extreme  badness  of 
the  traveling  rendered  it  utterly  impossible."  Moreover  passengers 
were  to  "have  the  liberty  of  breakfasting,  dining  and  supping  where, 
when  and  on  what  they  please.  No  more  than  eight  passengers  unless 
by  unanimous  consent." 

The  year  1825  saw  the  establishment  of  the  county  poor-house  in 
Herkimer.  The  board  of  supervisors  met  on  the  5th  of  May  at  Her- 
kimer and  appointed  Abijah  Beckwith,  of  Columbia,  Robert  Shoe- 
maker, of  German  Flats,  and  William  Griswold,  of  Fairfield,  a  com- 
mittee to  examine  into  the  subject.  This  committee  reported  before 
the  end  of  that  month,  and  the  supervisors  thereupon  resolved  to 
purchase  for  the  sum  of  $2,000  a  house  and  land  in  the  German  Flats, 
near  the  line  of  the  canal.  Samuel  Etheridge  and  Gideon  Johnson 
were  appointed  to  negotiate  the  purchase,  and  Rudolph  J.  Shoemaker, 
Alfred  Putnam,  Lauren  P'ord,  John  B.  Dygert,  and  Caleb  Budlong, 
superintendents.     The   clerk   was  notified  that  as   soon   as  the   proper 


92  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTV. 

officers  had  taken  possession  of  the  house,  to  publish  the  fact  in  the 
Herkimer  paper.  On  the  i6th  of  November,  1827,  the  supervisors 
resolved  to  aboh'sh  the  distinction  between  the  town  and  the  county 
poor  Up  to  that  time  each  town  had  supported  its  own  poor  at  the 
county  house;  but  tlie  plan  was  not  a  successful  one.  On  the  i6th  of 
December,  1827,  tlie  supervisors  resolved  to  ask  the  Legislature  for 
authority  to  sell  the  poor-house  property  and  purchase  a  more  suitable 
piece  of  land  and  erect  buildings  thereon  for  the  future  reception  of 
paupers.  The  required  law  was  passed,  but  no  immediate  action  was 
taken  under  it.  Although  a  little  out  of  its  chronological  order,  the 
later  history  of  the  poor-house  may  as  well  be  given  here.  In  1837 
the  matter  of  disposing  of  the  poor-house  was  again  agitated,  although 
at  the  annual  meeting  of  that  year  the  superintendents  were  author- 
ized to  purchase  a  part  of  the  Steele  farm  for  the  use  of  the 
county,  which  was  subsequently  effected.  The  discussion  of  sale  and 
change  of  location  continued  through  1839  and  1840,  and  further  laws 
on  the  subject  were  passed  by  the  Legislature.  In  1842  the  superin- 
tendents authorized  the  supervisors  to  sell  the  house  and  land  adjoining 
for  $500,  and  in  1844  the  Legislature  vested  in  the  board  of  supervisors 
full  power  to  Fell  out  the  old  establishment,  purchase  a  new  site  and 
erect  suitable  buildings.  It  is  clear  that  it  was  high  time  such  action 
was  taken.  Yet  for  nearly  three  years  the  subject  was  actively  dis- 
cussed before  a  majority  of  the  supervisors  made  a  final  disposition  of 
it.  The  difficulty  was  to  reconcile  the  different  factions  in  the  board 
to  a  new  location,  some  wanting  it  on  the  south  side  of  the  river, 
while  others  wished  it  taken  from  the  vicinity  of  the  canal.  In  January, 
1846,  the  board  fixed  upon  a  new  site  (the  present  one)  by  a  vote  of 
10  to  9;  on  the  17th  of  March  1846,  the  board  sanctioned  the  con- 
tract for  the  new  buildings  made  by  the  commissioners  and  George  W. 
Alton,  George  Rurch  and  Cornelius  E.  T.  Van  Home  superintended 
the  erection  of  the  new  buildings.  They  are  located  in  the  town  of 
Herkimer,  about  two  miles  south  of  Middleville,  on  the  west  side  of  the 
West  Canada  Creek,  and  arc  commodious  and  convenient  for  their 
purpose. 

The  Asiatic  cholera   visited    this  country   in   1832-34  and  in  many 
localities  was   the   cause   of  great    fatality,   anxiety  and  actual    panic. 


(JROWTH  AND  PROGRESS.  93 

Although  the  disease  found  its  way  westward  from  New  York  and 
Albany,  following  to  some  extent  the  line  of  the  Erie  canal,  Herkimer 
county  almost  entirely  escaped  its  ravages.  This  fortunate  circumstance 
is  doubtless  due  to  there  being  no  large  city  in  the  county,  the  general 
healthfulness  of  the  locality  and  the  favorable  sanitary  conditions  then 
existing.  The  disease  gained  a  foothold  in  Utica  and  Syracuse,  as  well 
as  at  other  prominent  centers ;  but  the  smaller  places  and  country 
districts  almost  wholly   escaped. 

During  the  period  between  1830  and  i860,  the  development  of  the 
dairy  industry  in  this  country  was  especially  marked.  Farmers  learned 
the  value  of  choice  stock  and  the  importance  of  giving  their  herds  the 
best  possible  care  Shippers  opened  the  English  market  about  1832, 
and  extended  the  distribution  of  the  product  to  many  of  the  largest 
cities  of  this  country,  laying  the  foundation  of  the  later  important  in- 
dustry. The  progress  of  dairying  in  the  county  is  further  treated  in 
another  chapter. 

The  Herkimer  County  Education  Society  and  Teachers'  Association 
was  organized  at  Little  Falls  March  15,  1837,  with  David  Chassell  as 
president ;  N.  S.  Benton,  John  B.  Dygert,  Thomas  Hawks,  John  Del- 
amater  and  Henry  Ellison,  vice-presidents  ;  James  Henry,  correspond- 
ing secretary  ;  E.  A.  Munson,  recording  secretary.  The  organization 
was  effected  at  a  meeting  of  the  county  convention  of  the  friends  of 
education.  It  was  arranged  that  annual  meetings  should  be  held,  at 
which  addresses  should  be  made  and  plans  laid  for  the  general  advance- 
ment of  education  in  the  county.  The  organization  was  not  very 
long-lived. 

The  State  of  New  York,  with  many  others,  had  its  period  of  what 
may  be  termed  the  plank  road  mania,  beginning  in  1847  and  continu- 
ing several  years.  These  roads,  built  at  a  time  when  most  country 
highways  were  even  much  worse  than  the}'  are  at  the  present  time,  and 
extending  into  localities  where  railroads  were  not  likely  to  go,  were  of 
considerable  benefit,  especially  to  farmers  A  few  of  them  paid  reas- 
onable profits,  but  more  were  losing  projects  and  soon  were  abandoned. 
The  first  plank  road  in  Herkimer  county  extended  from  Mohawk  vil- 
lage through  Herkimer  and  Middleville  to  Newport,  along  the  valley 
of  the  West  Canada  Creek.      Others  were  the  Little  Falls  and    Middle- 


94  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

ville  road,  connecting  those  two  places;  the  Manheim  and  Salisbury, 
connecting  Little  Falls  with  Salisbury  Four  Corners, and  afterwards  ex- 
tended to  Graysville  in  the  northern  part  of  Norway;  the  Little  Falls 
and  Salisbury,  connecting  the  former  place  with  Devereaux  ;  the  road 
from  Utica  passing  through  Frankfort,  Litchfield  and  West  Winfield  to 
Unadilla  ;  the  Mohawk  and  Ilion,  connecting  those  villages  ;  the  Frank- 
fort and  Utica,  extending  from  Frankfort  village  to  the  west  line  of  the 
county  along  the  line  of  the  canal ;  the  Ilion  and  Cedarville,  connect- 
ing those  two  points.  And  the  plank  road  trom  Fort  Plain  to  Coopers- 
town  passed  through  Starkville  and  Van  Hornesville,  in  the  town  of 
Stark;  the  North  Gage  and  Russia  road  connected  Russia  with  North 
Gage  in  Oneida  county.  These  once  useful  highways  were,  however, 
short-lived,  and  have  now  all  disappeared. 


CHAPTER  VI. 

THE    CIVIL    WAR    PERIOD. 

THE  long  reign  of  prosperous  peace  in  America  was  rudely  closed 
when  citizens  of  Southern  States  fired  the  first  hostile  gun  upon 
Fort  Sumter  in  1861.  Almost  before  the  sound  of  that  cannonade  had 
died  away  a  tide  of  patriotic  enthusiasm  and  indignation  swept  over 
the  entire  North,  and  the  call  to  arms  found  an  echo  in  every  loyal 
heart,  while  thousands  sprang  forward  to  offer  their  services  and  their 
lives  at  the  altar  of  their  country. 

The  history  of  the  civil  war  has  been  written  and  rewritten,  and  al- 
most every  intelligent  citizen,  young  and  old,  is  familiar  with  the  details 
of  the  great  contest.  '  Were  this  not  a  fact  it  would  still  be  manifestly 
impossible  in  a  work  of  this  character  to  follow  the  course  of  the  various 
campaigns  in  which  Herkimer  county  soldiers  took  part,  or  to  trace  the 
careers  of  those  brave  officers  and  privates  who  fell  on  the  field  of  bat- 
tle. Such  historical  work  must  be  left  to  the  general  historian  who  has 
unlimited  space  at  his  command  for  the  one  topic ;  and  already,  as  we 
have  said,  the  pages  of  history  are  eloquent  with  records  of  the  battles 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD.  95 

in  which  Herkimer  county  men  honorably  shared,  which  all  may  read  ; 
while  the  thousands  of  volumes  that  have  been  published  by  the  State 
and  placed  in  every  county  clerk's  office  and  elsewhere,  contain  the  ros- 
ters of  all  New  York  State  organizations  that  went  out  to  battle  for  the 
right.  It  therefore  remains  for  us  to  give  such  statistics  and  informa- 
tion in  this  connection  as  bear  a  local  interest,  as  far  as  the  space  at 
command  will  permit. 

Before  the  actual  outbreak  of  the  rebellion  the  president  issued  a 
proclamation  calling  forth  "  the  militia  of  the  several  States  of  the  Union, 
to  the  aggregate  number  of  75,000,  in  order  to  suppress  combinations, 
and  to  cause  the  laws  to  be  duly  executed."  The  principal  villages  of 
Herkimer  county  became  at  once  centers  of  military  activity.  One  of 
the  first  steps  taken  was  to  place  a  guard  upon  the  great  armory  of  the 
Remingtons  at  llion,  which  was  soon  filled  with  a  large  force  of  work- 
men employed  day  and  night. 

On  Monday,  April  15,  1861,  the  State  Legislature  passed  a  bill  ap- 
propriating $3,000,000  and  providing  for  the  enrollment  of  30,000  men 
to  aid  the  government.  The  volunteers  were  to  enlist  into  the  State 
service  for  two  years,  and  to  be  subject  at  any  time  to  transfer  into  the 
Federal  service.  This  measure  caused  intense  excitement  and  the  various 
villages  of  the  county  were  soon  ablaze  with  military  enthusiasm. 

On  the  20th  of  April  a  great  union  meeting  was  held  at  Little  Falls, 
over  which  Major  Z.  C.  Priest  presided.  Patriotic  speeches  were  made 
by  Hon.  A.  Loomis,  Rev.  B.  F.  McLoughlin,  Rev.  J.  D.  Adams,  Hon. 
A.  H.  Laflin,  Hon.  George  A.  Hardin,  and  Arnold  Petrie.  Resolutions 
were  adopted  expressive  of  the  patriotism  of  the  people  and  the  deter- 
mination to  maintain  the  government  against  its  enemies,  and  denounc- 
ing rebellion.  Provision  was  made  to  raise  $5,000  for  the  relief  of 
families  of  those  who  might  enlist  This  meeting  was  followed  by  a 
similar  one  at  Mohawk,  at  which  large  delegations  were  present  from 
Herkimer,  llion  and  elsewhere.  Dean  Burgess,  of  Herkimer,  presided 
and  stirring  speeches  were  made  by  Hon.  J.  H.  Wooster,  of  Newport, 
Judge  Ezra  Graves,  of  Herkimer,  General  Prescott,  of  Mohawk,  and 
others.  An  overflow  meeting  was  held  outside  of  the  church,  for  the 
benefit  of  those  who  could  not  gain  admittance,  which  was  addressed 
by   Hon.    George   A.   Hardin,  and   Hon.  A.  H.   Laflin,   of  Herkimer. 


96  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Resolutions  similar  to  those  mentioned  were  adopted  and  $1,500  were 
subscribed  at  once  for  the  relief  fund.  Military  enthusiasm  and  action 
extended,  also,  into  other  parts  of  the  county,  and  while  the  last  named 
meeting  was  being  held,  about  fifty  persons  had  already  enlisted  in  the 
towns  of  Ohio,  Norway  and  Russia;  and  by  the  24th  of  April  seventy 
men  had  enlisted  in  Herkimer  and  more  than  thirty  in  Mohawk. 

On  the  evening  of  IMay  24  a  meeting  was  held  in  the  court-house  to 
formulate  a  plan  for  the  relief  of  the  families  of  those  who  had  enlisted. 
It  was  decided  to  raise  $2,000  on  a  note  payable  in  one  year,  to  receive 
the  signatures  of  those  who  were  disposed  to  secure  it.  A  large  num- 
ber signed  the  note  and  the  money  was  advanced  by  the  Mohawk  Val- 
ley Bank.  Dean  Burgess  was  made  treasurer  of  the  fund,  and  Ezra 
Graves  and  H.  G.  Crouch,  with  the  treasurer,  were  made  an  executive 
committee  to  distribute  the  money.  Similar  action  was  taken  at  other 
points  and  together  afforded  the  necessary  relief 

By  the  8th  day  of  May,  1861,  there  were  six  companies  of  Herkimer 
county  men  in  rendezvous  at  Albany.  These,  with  one  company  from 
Essex  county,  two  from  Steuben,  one  from  Clinton,  and  one  from 
Albany  county,  were  organized  into  the  Thirty-fourth  Regiment  of  in- 
fantry, afterwards  familiarly  known  as  the  "  Herkimer  County  Regi- 
ment." Of  these  companies.  Company  B  was  raised  in  Little  Falls, 
Company  C  at  Graysville,  Companies  F  and  Gat  Herkimer,  and  Company 
K  at  Brockett's  Bridge  (now  Dolgeville).  The  regimental  officers 
were  :  Colonel,  William  Ladue  ;  lieutenant-colonel,  James  Suiter ; 
major,  Byron  Laflin  ;  quartermaster,  Natlian  Easterbrook,  jr. ;  chaplain, 
J.  B.  Van  Petten  ;  paymaster,  W.  H.  Wombaugh.  The  Herkimer 
county  companies  were  officered  as  follows  : 

Company  B. — Captain,  Wells  Sponable  ;  Ist  lieutenant,  John  Fralick;  ensign,  Irving 
Delos  Clark ;  1st  sergeant,  Lewis  M.  Clark ;  sergeants,  William  Orrin  Beach,  Chauncey 
Petrie  and  Wallace  Zaper ;  corporals,  Warren  Van  Allen,  Atielbert  Perry,  Dennis 
Canaan  and  Edward  Redner;  musicians,  John  Apple  and  John  Scheraierhorn. 

Company  C. — Captain,  Thomas  Corcoran;  lieutenant,  Samuel  P.  Butler;  ensign, 
William  S.  Burt;  1st  sergeant,  William  Wallace;  sergeants,  Jacob  Ashley,  S.  S.  Walter 
and  Charles  B.  Barton ;  corporals,  Simon  Loyd,  Richard  Manning,  Hanison  L.  Banks 
and  Joshua  Sherwood  ;  musicians,  William  H.  Corp  and  John  H.  Guy. 

Company  F. — Captain,  Charles  Riley  ;  lieutenant,  Joseph  R.  Shoemaker;  sergeant.<, 
William  R.  Van  Valkenbuig,  Christian  Way  man  and  James  B.  Crist;  corporals, 
Charles  B.  Taylor,  John  T.  Booth,  Thomas  White  anrf  Charles  Pierce;  musicians,  David 
M.  Heath  and  Edward  White. 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD.  97 

Company  G. — Captain,  Charles  L.  Brown  ;  1st  lieutenant,  Warren  Mack,  jr.  ;  ensign, 
Michael  ShafFner ;  1st  sergeant,  Joy  E.  Johnson;  2d  sergeant,  Albert  Arnold;  3d  ser- 
geant, James  H.  Cory  ;  4th  sergeant,  Richard  D.  Mosher ;  1st  corporal,  Jeremiah  Far- 
rell ;  corporals,  A.  S.  Rounds,  William  Manning  and  John  H.  Raynor ;  musicians, 
Ezra  Dockstater  and  Nelson  Meacham. 

Company  K. — Captain,  John  Beverly  ;  lieutenant,  Henry  B.  Chamberlin  ;  ensign, 
Emerson  S.  Northrup;  1st  sergeant,  William  S.  Walton;  sergeants,  Charles  Lasure, 
Benjamin  J.  Loucks  and  Romeyn  Roof;  corporals,  William  Burns,  Henry  Traver,  John 
Johnson  and  John  Williams ;  musicians,  Hiram  Burk  and  Eugene  Kibbie. 

On  account  of  ill  health,  Colonel  Ladue  resigned  March  20,  1862, 
and  Lieutenant-  Colonel  Suiter  was  promoted  to  the  office.  He  resigned 
January  26,  1863,  and  was  honorably  discharged.  Lieutenant- Colonel 
Byron  Laflin  was  his  successor.  The  last  three  companies  of  Herkimer 
county  men  left  for  Albany  on  the  6th  of  May.  A  large  gathering  of 
people  assembled  at  Herkimer  and  listened  to  the  patriotic  and  affect- 
ing words  of  Judge  Graves  to  the  departing  soldiers.  In  the  final  organ- 
ization at  Albany  the  six  Herkimer  companies  were  reduced  to  five, 
which,  with  the  others  named,  made  ten.  On  the  25th  of  May  the  reg- 
iment was  accepted,  and  June  15  it  was  mustered  into  service.  On  the 
25th  of  that  month  a  stand  of  colors  was  presented  to  the  regiment  by 
the  ladies  of  Little  Falls,  through  Horace  Burch.  On  the  2d  of  July 
the  regiment  left  Albany  for  Washington  on  the  steamboat  Western 
World  and  two  barges  ;  they  arrived  at  Washington  on  the  5th,  and 
went  into  camp  on  Kalorama  Heights.  On  the  28th  of  July  the  regiment 
was  assigned  to  picket  duty  at  Seneca  Mills,  Md.,  on  the  Chesapeake 
and  Ohio  Canal.  After  doing  duty  at  various  stations  for  short  periods, 
among  them  being  Poolesville,  Harper's  Ferry,  Bolivar  Heights,  Charles- 
town,  Berryville  and  Winchester  (arriving  just  after  the  close  of  the  bat- 
tle), the  regiment  reached  Yorktown  on  the  5th  of  April,  1862.  On  the 
4th  of  May  they  embarked  for  West  Point  and  on  the  6th  were  engaged 
in  the  battle  at  that  place,  with  slight  loss.  Continuing  up  the  penin- 
sula they  went  into  camp  on  the  Tyler  farm  and  were  detailed  to  bridge 
the  Chickahominy.  In  the  succeeding  battle  of  Fair  Oaks  the  regiment 
acted  nobly  and  lost  thirty- four  killed  and  sixty-four  wounded.  On 
the  30th  of  June  they  were  engaged  at  Glendale  in  a  part  of  the  "Seven 
Days  Fight"  and  lost  thirteen  killed  and  wounded.  On  the  1st  of 
July  the  regiment  reached  Malvern  Hill  and  in  the  battle  fought  there 
lost  thirty-four  in  killed,  wounded  and  missing,  among  the  killed  being 

13 


98  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Major  Charles  L.  Brown.  After  other  operations  in  that  vicinity  the 
regiment  found  itself  in  its  old  camp  at  Harrison's  Landing,  where  tliey 
remained  until  August  15,  removing  thence  to  Newport  News,  where 
they  arrived  on  the  21st.  The  movements  of  the  regiment  from  that 
time  until  the  battle  at  Antietam  were  to  Alexandria;  thence  to  a  point 
near  Fort  Ethan  Allen  ;  thence  to  Frederick  City,  South  Mountain  and 
Antietam.  In  that  memorable  battle  the  regiment  was  forced  to  the 
front,  where  it  narrowly  escaped  destruction,  and  lost  thirty- two  killed, 
109  wounded,  and  nine  missing.  From  Antietam  the  regiment  went 
to  Harper's  Ferry,  and  on  the  I  ith  of  November  was  reviewed  by  Gen- 
eral McClellan  for  the  last  time.  Next  they  marched  to  Falmouth, 
and  on  December  1 1  reached  a  point  opposite  Fredericksburg.  Here 
in  the  engagement  that  followed  they  lost  thirty- three  killed  and 
wounded.  The  regiment  went  into  winter  quarters  near  Falmouth 
January  26,  1863.  Its  term  of  service  expired  on  the  8th  of  June  and 
on  that  day  they  left  for  home.  They  were  tendered  a  reception  at 
Herkimer  before  being  mustered  out  and  were  given  a  royal  welcome 
on  the  27th  of  June.  The  men  were  mustered  out  on  the  30th  of  June, 
numbering  only  400,  as  against  786  when  the  organization  left  for  the 
front. 

Passing  by  several  organizations  in  which  Herkimer  county  men  en- 
listed, as  noted  further  on,  we  come  to  the  Ninty-seventh  Regiment  of 
infantry,  in  which  a  large  part  of  five  companies  were  from  this  county, 
the  remainder  being  largely  Oneida  county  men.  The  formation  of 
this  regiment  was  begun  on  the  i6th  of  October,  1861,  and  was  of- 
ficered as  follows:  Colonel,  Charles  Wheelock  ;  lieutenant-colonel,  J. 
P.  Spofiford,  of  Brockett's  Bridge,  Herkimer  county,  promoted  to  colonel 
in  February,  1865;  major,  Charles  Northrup ;  adjutant,  Charles  Buck; 
quartermaster,  Joel  T.  Comstock  ;  surgeon,  N.  D.  Ferguson;  assistant 
surgeon,  Aaron  Cornish;  chaplain,  James  V.  Ferguson.  Colonel  Whee- 
lock was  one  of  the  bravest  and  most  efficient  officers  that  left  the  State. 
He  was  captured  by  the  enemy  in  one  of  the  early  engagements  of  the 
regiment,  but  made  a  daring  escape.  The  hardships  of  army  life  were 
too  severe  for  his  physical  frame,  and  he  died  at  Washington  January 
2 1 .  1 865.  His  remains  were  brought  home  to  his  native  town  of  Boon- 
villc  where  they  received  burial  with  military  honors. 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD.  99 

The  Ninety-seventh  was  mustered  into  service  at  Boonville  on  the 
19th  of  P'ebruary,  1862,  and  on  the  I  2th  day  of  March  left  for  Wash- 
ington with  a  strength  of  928  men.  Companies  C,  D,  E,  F,  and  I  were 
each  about  half  made  up  of  Herkimer  county  men,  and  officered  as  fol- 
lows by  Herkimer  county  : 

Company  C  — First  lieutenant,  Francis  Murphy  ;  second  lieutenant,  John  T.  Norton  ; 
first  sergeant,  John  G.  C.  Sproule  ;  sergeants,  James  McGurren,  Henry  P.  Fitzpatrick; 
corporal,  Charles  McGurren,  all  of  Herkimer  village ;  musician,  Dennis  T.  Hall,  Graves- 
ville;  wagoner,  Horace  Rice,  Herkimer. 

Company  D.— Captain,  Rouse  P.  Egleston.  Brockett's  Bridge  ;  first  lieutenant,  Dwight 
S.  Faville,  Brockett's  Bridge  ;  first  sergeant,  James  H.  Stiles,  Salisbury  ;  second  sergeant, 
Frank  Reed,  Brockett's  Bridge;  fourth  sergeant,  William  Dresher,  Salisbury  ;  fifth  ser- 
geant, David  Beverly,  jr.,  Brockett's  Bridge  ;  corporals,  H.  Alonzo  Cool  and  Charles 
Doxtater,  Brockett's  Bridge ;  Abner  K.  Huntly,  Frederick  Munson,  and  Conrad  Metz, 
Salisbury  Center,  and  Morgan  Hughs,  Manheim ;  fifer,  Ezra  M.  Huntly,  Salisbury; 
wagoner,  John  Kirchen,  Salisbury  Center. 

Campany  E. — Corporal,  John  Williams,  Russia;  musician,  Jolin  F.  Moreliouse,  Graves- 
ville. 

Company  F. —  Captain,  Stephen  G.  Hutchinson;  first  lieutenant,  E.  Gary  Spencer, 
Brockett's  Bridge;  first  sergeant,  William  Ransom;  second  sergeant,  DelosD.  Hall;  third 
sergeant,  Hiram  Hildreth,  and  fourth  sergeant,  John  Darling,  Salisbury ;  corporals, 
Augustus  Johnson,  William  B.  Judd,  Brockett's  Bridge,  and  George  Terry,  Salisbury. 

Company  H,  commanded  by  Captain  Anton  Brendle,  included  musicians  Addy  and 
William  Thompson,  and  three  privates,  from  Herkimer  village. 

Company  I. — Captain,  James  P.  Leslie;  first  lieutenant,  Romeyn  Roof;  second  lieu- 
tenant, Lewis  H.  Carpenter  ;  first  sergeant,  George  Chase,  and  sergeant,  Henry  A.  Way, 
all  of  Little  Falls;  sergeant,  Joseph  W.  Harrison,  Tan  Hornesville ;  sergeant,  Hartley 
Youker,  Little  Falls  ;  corporals,  John  Campbell,  George  J.  Keller,  Ansel  L.  Snow,  Will- 
iam H.  Gray,  and  Michael  Tighe,  Little  Falls;  Clinton  Ackerman,  Newville  ;  James 
Kenna,  and  Roswell  Clark,  jr..  Little  Falls  ;  musicians,  Charles  A.  Barrett  and  Fred- 
erick V.  Laurent,  Little  Falls. 

Following  is  a  list  of  the  battles  in  which  this  regiment  bore  a  con- 
spicuous part:  Cedar  Mountain,  Rappahannock  Station,  Thoroughfare 
Gap,  Second  Bull  Run,  Chantilly,  South  Mountain,  Antietam,  Freder- 
icksburg (two  engagements),  Chancellorsville,  Gettysburg,  Mine  Run, 
Raccoon  Ford,  Wilderness,  Laurel  Hill,  Spottsylvania  Court  House, 
North  Anna,  Tolopotomoy,  Bethesda  Church,  White  Oak  Swamp, 
Petersburg,  Weldon  Railroad,  Hicks  Ford,  Hatcher's  Run,  Quaker 
Road,  White  Oak  Road,  Five  Forks,  Appomattox.  It  is  no  more  than 
L.oFC. 


100  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

justice  to  this  splendid  organization  to  give  it  credit  for  being  one  of  the 
bravest  and  hardest  fought  regiments  in  the  army,  as  the  following  sta- 
tistics will  show : 

Of  the  color  bearers  two  were  killed  and  three  wounded,  as  follows:  Sergeant  James 
Brown,  killed  July  1,  1863,  at  Gettysburg;  Sergeant  Sylvester  Riley,  killed  May  5, 
18G4,  at  the  battle  of  the  Wilderness.  Sergeant  John  King,  wounded  severely  May 
18,  near  Spottsylvania  Court-house;  John  D.  Conlon,  wounded  May  5,  18G4,  near 
Spottsylvania  Court-house;  Joseph  Curtis,  wounded  February  G,  1862. 

Of  the  original  officers  only  three  returned  with  the  regiment,  viz.,  Colonel  J.  P. 
SpofTord,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Rouse  P.  Egleston,  and  Captain  Isaac  Hall. 

The  commissioned  officers  who  were  killed,  or  died  of  wounds  received  in  action, 
were:  Captain  Richard  Jones,  August  30,  1862 ;  First  Lieutenant  Dwight  S.  Faville, 
August  30,  1862;  Second  Lieutenant  Louis  Dallarini,  September"  17,  1862;  First  Lieu- 
tenant Rush  P.  Cady,  July  1,  1863  ;  Second  Lieutenant  James  H.  Stiles,  July  1,  1863 ; 
Second  Lieutenant  William  J.  Morrin,  July  1.  1863;  Fu'st  Lieutenant  Frank  T.  Bren- 
iian.  May  6,  18G-1  ;  Second  Lieutenant  William  (i.  Dresher,  May  6,  1864;  Second  Lieu- 
tenant John  Kocli,  June  3,  1863  ;  Second  Lieutenant  Henry  P.  Fitzpatnck,  August  4, 
1864;  Captain  WilHam  B.  Judd,  February  6,  1864.  Thiity-two  commissioned  officers 
and  836  enlisted  men  were  wounded.  The  total  number  of  commis.sioned  officers  ever 
belonging  to  the  regiment  was  ninety-four. 

Of  the  enlisted  men  in  the  regiment  there  were  killed  or  mortally  wounded,  203;  died 
of  disease,  122;  discharged,  690;  transferred,  534;  mustered  out — present — 322;  mus- 
tered out — absent — 205;  total,  2,081.  There  were  twenly-two  hundred  names  on  the 
muster  roll  of  the  regiment  during  its  service;  when  mustered  out  there  were  just  25 
officers  and  322  men  left.     Company  D  mustered  out  but  twenty-six  men. 

The  regiment  wasm  Duryea's  Brigade  and  Rickett's  Division  of  the  First  Corps  at 
the  battle  of  Antietam,  where  it  sufiered  more  severely  than  in  any  other  battle.  Here 
more  than  one-half  of  the  regiment  was  killed  and  woundod  in  less  than  an  hour  after 
the  engagement  commenced  ;  yet  it  is  said  men  never  displayed  more  coolness  and  de- 
termination. Not  a  man  was  captured,  and  when  relieved,  though  under  a  galling  fire, 
they  retired  in  good  order. 

At  Fredericksburg,  Gettysburg,  and  all  sulisequent  battles — more  than  twenty  in 
number — the  Ninety- seventh  sustained  the  reputation  it  had  gloriously  acquired  at 
liard-fought  Antietara.  At  Gettysburg  the  loss  of  the  regiment  was  great,  particularly 
in  officers — eleven  of  whom  (out  of  twenty-four)  were  killed  or  wounded.  The  regi- 
ment went  into  this  battle  with  only  236  rifles ;  and  after  being  engaged  several  hours 
and  losing  heavily  it  made  a  successful  charge  upon  the  Twentieth  North  Carolina 
regiment,  capturing  382  men  and  their  colors.  Colonel  Spoffbrd  (then  lieutenant- 
coloneH  led  this  charge,  and  in  it  nearly  one-half  of  his  hat  was  carried  away  by  apiece 
of  shell.  His  horse  was  shot  in  the  head,  and  Colonel  Spofford  subsequentlj  taken 
prisoner,  and  he  was  afterwards  nearly  a  year  and  a  half  in  Southern  prisons. 

On  the  7th  of  June,  1864,  the  Eiglity-third  New  York  volunteers  (Ninth  militia) 
were  consolidated  with  the  Ninety-seventh.     Prior  to  this  consolidation  the  Twenty- 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD.  101 

sixth  New  York  had  been  joined  to  tlie  Eighty-third,   and  the  Ninety-seventh   there- 
fore received  the  remnants  of  two  regiments  when  the  consohdation  took  place. 

The  One  Hundred  and  Tzuenty -first  Regiment. — This  was  the  next 
organization  which  contained  a  large  proportion  of  Herkimtr  county 
men,  most  of  the  remainder  being  from  Otsego  county,  and  was  raised 
in  response  to  the  president's  call  for  300,000  volunteers  in  August, 
1862.  The  camp  of  the  regiment  was  situated  on  the  grounds  of  H.  J, 
Schuyler,  in  the  town  of  German  Flats,  about  a  mile  and  a  half  from 
Herkimer,  and  was  called  Camp  Schuyler.  A  list  of  the  Herkimer 
county  men  in  the  regiment  was  published  in  the  Herkimer  Democrat 
of  August  27,  1862,  and  shows  that  coinpanies  A,  B,  C,  D,  and  H 
were  almost  wholly  from  this  county,  the  figures  being  respectively  in 
the  order  named,  98,  102,  10 1,  102,  and  66.  These  companies  were 
officered  as  follows  : 

Company  A. — Captain,  H.  M.  Galpin,  Little  Falls;  hrst  lieutenant,  J.  Biirrill,  Salis- 
bury; second  lieutenant,  George  W.  Davis,  Little  Falls;  sergeants — Joseph  H.  Heath, 
Little  Falls;  Lester  Baum,  Danube;  David  T.  King,  Salisbury;  George  Hewittson, 
Danube  ;  and  Frank  Burt,  Little  Falls;  corporals — George  H.  Snell,  Little  Falls;  John 
Wormouth,  Danube  ;  Albert  H.  Clark,  Little  Falls;  Henry  Timmerman,  Little  Falls; 
Isaac  Darling,  Salisbury;  Hallet  Mattison,  Salisbury;  James  Hendrix,  Danube;  and 
Peter  Fletcher,  Little  Falls;  musician,  Murton  Timmerman,  Little  Falls. 

Company  B. — Captain,  Irving  Holcomb,  Litchfield  ;  first  lieutenant,  H.  C.  Keith, 
German  Flats ;  second  lieutenant,  George  A.May,  German  Flats;  sergeants — ^Levi  S. 
Jones,  Winfield;  Dennis  A.  Dewey,  Plainfield;  Samuel  Miller,  Litchfield;  Gilbert  T. 
Broadway,  German  Flats ;  Reuben  C.  Holmes,  Little  Falls;  corporals— F.  McCarron, 
Litchfield ;  A.  C.  Potter,  Winfield ;  G.  W.  Warren,  Litchfield ;  William  H.  Widrick, 
German  Flats;  Joseph  B.  Rounds,  Winfield  ;  Dewitt  Beckwith,  Geiman  Flats;  Asahel 
Davis,  Winfield  ;  William  Thornton,  Columbia ;  musicians,  J.  M.  Underwood,  Litch- 
field ;  Resell  Jackson,  Columbia. 

Company  C. —  Captain,  Clinton  A.  Moon,  Herkimer;  first  lieutenant,  Thomas  S. 
Arnold,  Herkimer;  second  lieutenant,  Angus  Cameron,  Fairfield;  sergeants — E.  P. 
Joiinson,  Russia;  D.  W.  Greene,  A.  Clark  Rice  and  F.  B.  Ford,  Fairfield  ;  G.  W.  Col- 
lins, Russia;  corporals — W.  Ward  Rice,  Fairfield;  Joshua  W.  Storr,  Russia;  Calvin 
G.  Carpenter,  Fairfield;  Crosby  J.  Graves,  I.  N.  Bassett  and  Julius  A.  Jones,  Russia; 
Wilbur  F.  Lamberson  and  Leander  Swartout,  Fairfield. 

Company  D.  — Captain,  John  D.  Fish,  Frankfort ;  first  lieutenant.  Deles  M.  Kenyon, 
Frankfort;  second  lieutenant,  Charles  E.  Staring,  Schuyler;  sergeants— James  W. 
Bascom,  Willard  H.  Howard,  James  Johnson,  MellviUe  D.  Merry,  Frankfort;  Roselle 
Warren,  Warren;  corporals — Darius  Brown,  James  H.  Smith,  Frankfort;  Nathan  B. 
Faville,  Manheim;  Nathaniel  Warren,  Amos  Lepper,  Frankfort;  Aaron  D.  Miller, 
Schuyler  ;  Francis  N.  Piper,  Ralph  T.  Pierson,  Frankfort. 


102  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Company  H.— Captain,  John  Ramsay,  Little  Falls;  first  lieutenant,  Double- 
day,  Otsego  county  ;  second  lieutenant.  M.  R.  Casler,  Little  Falls;  sergeants — W.  D. 
Turner,  Little  Falls;  S.  Wolverton,  Thomas  M.  Kenna,  Little  Falls;  R.  C.  Firman, 
Otsego  county  ;  Levi  Sherry,  Little  Falls;  corporals,  M.  I.  Gage,  Little  Falls;  James 
Reddy,  Little  Falls;  J.  A.  Burgess,  Otsego  county  ;  William  H.  Hayes,  Little  Falls;  H. 
C.  Winslow,  Little  Falls. 

The  regimental  officers  were  as  follows:  Colonel,  Richaid  Franchot  ;  litutenant-col- 
onel,  C.  H.  Clark;  Major,  Egbert  Olcott;  adjutant,  Alonzo  Ferguson;  surgeon,  D.  W. 
Bassett;  assistant  surgeons,  S.  B  Valentine,  D.  M.Holt;  quartermaster,  Albert  Story  ; 
chaplain,  J.  R.  Sage. 

This  regiment  left  its  camp  on  the  31st  of  August,  marciied  to  the 
Herkimer  station,  where  a  large  crowd  witnessed  the  aflecting  depait- 
ure.  After  a  short  stay  in  camp  at  Wasliington,  the  regiment  went  on 
picl<et  duty  beyond  Georgetown,  Sickness  and  death  became  prevalent 
in  the  various  companies  and  by  October  26,  1862,  more  than  one 
hundred  were  sick  and  six  had  died,  one  of  them  a  commissioned 
officer.  After  various  minor  movements,  the  regiment  participated 
honorably  in  the  battle  of  Fredericksburg,  though  its  loss  was  small — 
four  killed  and  twelve  wounded.  The  winter  was  spent  in  camp,  and 
the  regiment  suffered  much  from  desertions.  At  the  second  battle 
of  Fredericksburg,  on  the  3d  of  May,  1S63,  the  organization  lost  forty- 
one  killed,  and  235  wounded  and  missing.  In  the  three  days  of 
fighting  at  Gettysburg  the  regiment  participated,  but  its  duty  was  such 
that  it  did  not  suffer  material  loss.  November  7,  1863,  the  regiment 
participated  in  the  engagement  at  Rappahannock  Station,  where  it  won 
brilliant  laurels,  aiding  in  capturing  many  prisoners  and  battle  flags, 
and  receiving  honorable  mention  from  General  Meade.  The  loss  was 
four  killed  and  twenty-one  wounded. 

During  the  winter  of  1863-4  the  regiment  was  in  camp  at  Brandy 
Station.  In  the  spring  campaign  of  1864  the  One  Hundred  Twenty- 
First  performed  the  most  arduous  service.  A  member  writing  home 
said  :  "  We  have  been  fighting  like  fury  for  fourteen  days,  watching 
nights  and  fighting  daytitnes,  and  are  now  nearly  worn  out,  as  you 
may  well  imagine.  We  have  captured  many  prisoners  and  stands 
of  colors  and  many  pieces  of  artillery.  Out  of  fifteen  officers  only 
four  are  left.  We  have  144  men  fit  for  duty.  We  started  out  with 
four  hundred  men  and  twenty  officers.      Six  officers  were  killed,  nine 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD.  103 

wounded  and  one  missing.  Twenty-five  enlisted  men  were  killed,  144 
wounded,  and  sixty-six  missing."     This  letter  was  dated  May  20. 

In  the  battle  of  Cold  Harbor  the  regiment  did  its  share  of  fighting 
and  had  a  number  of  men  wounded.  The  other  engagements. in  which 
it  shared  were  Opequan,  Fisher's  Hill,  and  Peteisburg,  and  finally  Cedar 
Creek.  In  the  last  battle  it  lost  nine  killed  and  forty  wounded.  The 
regiment  was  mustered  out  on  June  25,  1865,  and  on  the  succeeding 
4tli  of  July  was  given  a  hearty  reception  at  Little  Falls,  when 
twelve  thousand  people  were  present.  Of  1,076  men  who  left  Herki- 
mer in  the  One  Hundred  Twenty- First,  only  445  returned.  The  loss 
in   the  field  was  250  and  in  wounded  between  600  and  700. 

The  One  Hundred  and  Fifty  Second  Regiment. — This  regiment  was 
formed  in  Herkimer  and  Otsego  counties,  about  360  men  being  drawn 
from  Herkimer  besides  the  following  company  officers  : 

Company  A. — Captain,  Timothy  O'Brien,  Mohawk  ;  first  lieutenant,  Peleg  G.  Thomas ; 
second  lieutenant,  John  M.  Smith,  Mohawk  ;  fir.st  sergeant,  Frederick  A.  Gray,  Herki- 
mer; sergeant.s — Alonzo  C.  Holmes,  Litte  Falls  ;  Thomas  MeGlone,  Manheim  ;  Welford 
E.  Casler,  Little  Falls ;  and  Simon  Lepper,  Herkimer  ;  corporals — William  H.  Cornell, 
Little  Falls;  Charles  H.  Dygert  and  Moses  C.  Holden,  Herkimer;  James  P.  Burns, 
Manheim;  Thomas  Ellis,  Little  Falls;  Frederick  Harter,  Herkimer ;  Moses  C.  Roof, 
Little  Falls  ;  and  William  W.  Wilson,  Herkimer;  musicians,  Jeremiah  Carroll,  jr..  Lit- 
tle Falls,  and  John  Smart,  Herkimer;   wagoner,  William  P.  Casler,  Little  Falls. 

Company  B. — Captain,  William  S.  Burt;  first  lieutenant,  Silas  T.  Bebee,  and  second 
lieutenant,  H.  Dwight  Smith,  Mohawk;  first  sergeant,  Henry  A.  Hydorn,  Little  Falls- 
sergeants — John  Mcintosh,  Wilmurt ;  Dennis  T.  Hurtly,  Warren;  Albert  Hall  and 
Truman  F.  Phelps,  Ohio ;  corporals— Francis  Bennett,  Ohio;  D.  Mcintosh,  Russia- 
William  B.  CoflBn,  Ohio  ;  Herman  Delong,  Stark;  John  Paul,  Wilmurt;  Hurlburt 
Norton,  Newport ;  musicians,  Granville  Palmer,  Newport,  and  Paul  Crego,  Norway  ; 
wagoner,  George  Bennett,  Ohio. 

Company  C. — Captain,  James  E.  Curtiss;  first  lieutenant,  Francis  E.  Leonard,  and 
second  lieutenant,  Lansing  Swift,  Mohawk;  sergeants — John  Thrall  and  Daniel  Steele, 
Mohawk;  corporals  —  John  Freeman,  Hiatt  Coe,  Elijah  Colbnrn,  Jonathan  Joyce, 
George  W.  Manchester  and  Edward  F.  Passen,  Mohawk;  musician,  Frank  Doxtater 
Mohawk;  wagoner,  Peter  Doxtater,  Mohawk. 

Company  D. — Captain,  William  R.  Wall,  first  lieutenant,  Elias  Young,  and  second 
lieutenant,  John  Land  jr.,  Mohawk. 

Company  E. — Captain,  Simeon  L.  Coe,  first  lieutenant,  Washington  W.  Hul.ser,  and 
second  lieutenant,  Delancy  Stafford,  Mohawk;  sergeants — Horatio  Nichols,  Litchfield - 
William  Porter,  Winfield  ;  Daniel  Van  Allen,  Danube,  and  James  McGowan,  Litchfield  ; 
corporals — William  Luckey,  jr.,  Bridgewater ;    Jacob  Nell,  Litchfield;   William  Z.  Ball 


104  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Alonzo  P.  Miller  and  Isaac  McLoughlin,  Winfield  ;  James  Barnes,  Litchfield;  John  A. 
Carrier,  Winfield,  an<l  Charles  Brown,  Schuyler ;  musicians,  Tliomas  Fox,  Danube,  and 
William  S.  Babcock,  Litchfield  ;  Wagoner,  Peter  W.  Tallman,  Schuyler. 

Company  F. — Captain,  Daniel  A.  West,  Mohawk  :  first  lieutenant,  David  Hill,  Mo- 
hawk;  second  lieutenant,  James  B.  Eysaman,  Mohawk;  first  sergeant,  John  W.  Quim- 
by,  Fairfield  ;  second,  O.  M.  Cronkhite,  Little  Falls;  third,  Seymour  A.  Smith,  Fair- 
field; fourth,  William  II.  Lewis,  Little  Falls;  fifth,  Edward  C.  Townsend,  Fairfield; 
first  corporal,  Alfred  R.  Quaiffe,  Little  Falls;  second,  Matthew  McCann,  Fairfield; 
third,  Julius  L.  Townsend,  Newport;  fourth,  Delevan  Hewitt,  Manheim  ;  fifth,  Thomas 
R.  Petrie,  Fairfield;  sixth,  John  W.  Allen,  Manheim ;  musicians,  Lyman  Snell,  Man- 
heim, and  James  D.  Wiswell,  Little  Falls;  wagoner,  David  Flint,  Little  Falls. 

Company  K. — Captain,  Lambert  Hensler,  Mohawk  ;  first  lieutenant,  Lewis  A.  Camp- 
bell, Mohawk;  second  lieutenant,  Jacob  G.  Bellinger,  Mohawk;  first  sergeant,  Peter 
B.  Dykenian,  Little  Falls;  sergeants,  Englehart  Diefenbocker,  Adrian  Lee,  Sanford  A. 
Hager  and  David  Small.  Frankfort ;  first  corporal,  Andrew  Bridenbecker,  second,  Ed- 
ward Haver,  third,  Michael  Conlon,  fourth,  Lewis  H.  Gray,  and  fifth,  Winfield  S.  Forel- 
man,  Frankfort ;  sixth,  Cornelius  W.  Hardendorf,  Cherry  Valley ;  seventh,  William 
J.  Gray,  Warren;  eighth,  Seth  B.  Holdridge,  Schuyler;  musicians,  Eugene  Casey, 
German  Flats,  and  Garrett  Vischer,  Frankfort;  wagoner,  George  Sterling,  Frankfort. 

Company  G. — Captain,  Edmund  C.  Gilbert,  Mohawk;  first  lieutenant,  Josiah  Hinds, 
Mohawk. 

Company  H. — Captain,  Uriah  B.  Kendall;  first  lieutenant,  William  R.  Patrick;  sec- 
ond lieutenant,  William  L.  Hopkins,  all  of  Mohawk. 

Company  I. — Captain,  Alonzo  A.  Bingham;  first  lieutenant,  Charles  Hamilton;  sec- 
ond lieutenant,  Edward  W.  Butler,  all  of  Mohawk. 

Following  are  the  field  and  staff  ofiicers :  Colonel,  Leonard  Boyer ;  lieutenant 
colonel.  Alonzo  Ferguson;  major,  George  R  Spalding;  adjutant,  Cleveland  J.  Camp- 
bell ;  quartermaster,  George  W.  Ernst,  jr. ;  surgeon,  Silas  A.  Ingham  ;  assistant  sur- 
geons, Eli  Small,  Harmon  M.  Blood. 

The  One  Hundred  Fifty- second  Regiment  was  formed  in  the  fall  of 
1862,  and  reached  Washington  on  the  23d  of  October,  where  it  re- 
mained in  Camp  Marcy  until  February,  1863,  when  it  was  stationed  in 
the  city  for  guard  and  provost  duty.  After  three  weeks  at  Suffolk,  in 
Eastern  Virginia,  the  regiment  again  returned  to  Washington, and  on  the 
14th  of  July  was  ordered  to  New  York.  This  movement  was  occasioned 
b}'  the  fear  of  riots  caused  by  the  draft.  After  about  a  month  in  New 
York  the  regiment  proceeded  to  Schenectady,  for  guard  duty  during  the 
draft;  their  services  were  not  needed.  Returning  to  New  York  the 
regiment  remained  there  until  the  middle  of  October,  1863,  when  it  re- 
joined the  Army  of  the  Potomac,  and  was  assigned  to  the  First  Brigade, 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD.  105 

Second  Division,  Second  Corps,  reporting  at  headquarters  near  Center- 
villa.  After  sharing  in  Meade's  eight  days'  campaign  across  the  Rapi- 
dan,  the  regiment  went  into  winter  quarters  near  Brandy  Station. 

In  the  terrible  battles  of  the  Wilderness  in  the  spring  of  1864,  the 
One  Hundred  Fitty- Second  performed  an  honorable  part  and  suffered 
severely.      A  letter  written  on  May  13  thus  speaks  of  that  battle: 

I  am  still  sound  after  eight  days'  hard  fighting.  We  have  lost  heavily.  Our  gallant 
old  leader,  General  John  Sedgwick,  of  the  "  bloody  Sixth  Corps,"  is  killed,  and  our  noble 
Colonel  Olcott  is  also  no  more.  Major  Galpin  is  wounded  in  the  eye,  and  is  at  Freder- 
icksburg hospital.  We  went  into  the  fight  with  446  men  and  fifteen  officers,  and  came 
out  to-day  with  four  olEcers  and  not  a  hundred  men.  I  have  just  taken  the  "  census," 
and  find  we  have  just  ninety-four  men  to-day,  May  13.  Out  of  fifty-six  men  in  Com- 
pany A  there  are  just  seven  left.  When  we  charged  we  took  3,000  prisoners,  and  the 
next  day  the  Second  Corps  took  Johnson's  whole  division,  9,000  strong,  seventeen 
pieces  of  artillery,  and  some  twenty  stands  of  colors.  The  report  has  just  come  in  that 
the  rebels  have  left  the  front.  The  loss  to  our  army  in  killed,  wounded  and  missing 
must  be  at  the  least  calculation  from  18,000  to  25,000.  This  has  been  the  greatest  bat- 
tle ever  fought  on  this  continent.     Captain  Fish  is  killed. 

It  was  in  the  Wilderness  battle  that  the  famous  charge  was  made  in 
which  this  regiment  participated,  and  which  has  gone  upon  the  records 
of  history.  It  was  just  before  daybreak,  and  in  its  front  were  three 
lines  of  rifle  pits,  and  in  the  rear  of  them  two  formidable  lines  of  log 
ramparts  ;  these  were  about  five  feet  thick  at  the  base  and  six  feet  high, 
each  at  the  rear  commanding  the  one  in  front.  As  soon  as  it  was  light 
enough  to  see,  the  signal  was  given  and  the  entire  corps  pressed  forward. 
As  the  attacking  force  dashed  over  the  first  and  second  lines  of  rifle 
pits  and  captured  the  swarms  of  soldiers  in  them,  a  wild  yell  burst  forth 
from  the  Union  lines,  which  was  responded  to  by  a  withering  fire  of 
cannon  and  musketry.  Still  undaunted  they  pushed  on,  Sergeant  Hul- 
burt  Norton  a  little  in  advance  with  the  colors.  His  right  hand  was 
shot  away  at  the  staff,  but  he  quickly  raised  the  colors  with  his  left 
hand  and  pushed  on.  The  next  instant  a  bullet  pierced  his  brain. 
The  color  guard  being  now  wholly  wiped  out  and  the  staff  of  the  State 
flag  cut  in  two,  the  men  hesitated  at  the  third  line.  Captain  David 
Hill  caught  up  the  flag  and  with  a  shout  jumped  into  a  section  of  the 
pit  in  front  and  alone  sent  thirty  bewildered  rebels  to  the  rear.  Another 
moment  and  we  were  pouring  over  the  works,  the  colors  still  carried  by 
Captain  Hill,  but  he  was  soon   forced   to  drop   them,  as   he  received  a 

14 


lOG  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

painful  wound.  The  State  flag  was  then  caught  up  by  Sergeant  Fitch 
and  turned  over  to  another  who  carried  it  through  the  remainder  of  tlie 
engagement.  The  works  were  carried  and  about  6,000  prisoners  cap- 
tured, with  forty-two  guns,  and  many  horses,  etc.  The  One  Hundred 
Fifty-Second  alone  took  three  stands  of  colors,  and  covered  itself  with 
glory.  Nor  did  it  suffer  its  well  earned  honors  to  decline  during  the 
remainder  of  its  term.  In  the  battles  of  North  Anna,  Cold  Harbor, 
Petersburg,  Strawberry  Plains,  Reams  Station  and  on  the  Boydton 
Road,  it  bore  an  honorable  part,  and  was  mustered  out  at  the  close  of 
the  war  July  13,  1865. 

Other  organizations  in  which  Herkimer  county  soldiers  served  were, 
first,  the  Fourteenth  Regiment  of  infantry,  commonly  known  as  the 
First  Oneida  Regiment,  which  was  organized  at  Utica  in  April,  1861, 
with  James  McQuade  as  colonel.  It  was  mustered  into  the  service  at 
Albany  on  the  17th  of  May  and  left  for  Washington  on  the  14th  of 
June,  where  it  arrived  and  went  into  camp  on  Meridian  Hill.  The  regi- 
ment bore  an  honorable  part  in  a  minor  engagement  at  Ball's  Cross 
Roads  on  the  14th  of  September;  was  in  the  siege  of  Yorktown,  the 
battle  of  Hanover  Court  House,  at  Gaines  Mill  (June  27,  1862),  at  Mal- 
vern Hill  July  I,  losing  9  killed,  79  wounded,  and  29  missing;  entered 
the  Seven  Days  fight  with  500  men  and  lost  34  killed,  177  wounded 
and  15  missing;  took  part  in  the  succeeding  Maryland  campaign,  and 
left  the  field  at  Falmoth  November  12,  1863.  It  was  mustered  out  at 
Utica  on  the  20th  of  that  month. 

Second,  the  Twenty-sixth  Regiment  of  infantry,  commonly  known  as 
the  Third  Oneida,  which  was  mustered  in  at  Elmira  May  21,  1861,  for 
three  months;  but  most  of  its  number  re-enlisted  at  the  expiration  of 
the  term,  under  special  order.  The  regiment  participated  in  the  battle 
of  Cedar  Mountain,  in  the  four  days'  skirmishing  at  Rappahannock  Sta- 
tion; in  the  second  battle  of  Bull  Run,  where  Captains  Casselmen  and 
G.  S.  Jennings  were  killed;  at  Chantilly  September  1,  1861  ;  at  South 
Mountain,  and  at  Antietam.  It  went  into  the  battle  of  Fredericksburg 
with  about  300  officers  and  men,  and  suffered  severely,  losing  some  15 
officers  killed  and  wounded,  with  a  total  loss  of  30  killed,  and  120 
wounded.  It  also  participated  in  the  action  at  Chancellorsville.  The 
organization  was  mustered  out  May,  1863. 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD.  107 

Battery  A  of  the  First  Light  Artillery  was  raised  in  Herkimer  county, 
and  was  accepted  for  the  service  October  9,  1861.  It  went  into  camp 
for  artillery  instruction  at  Camp  Barry,  Washington.  On  the  22d  of 
March,  1862,  the  battery  was  attached  to  General  Casey's  Division, 
Fourth  Corps,  which  embarked  at  Alexandria  April  i,  1862,  and  landed 
at  Newport  News.  The  battery  was  engaged  in  the  siege  of  Yorktown, 
and  on  the  31st  of  May  took  part  in  the  battle  of  Fair  Oaks,  in  which 
it  had  100  horses  killed  and  the  entire  battery  was  captured  by  the 
enemy.  The  company  was  greatly  reduced,  and  in  June,  1862,  Captain 
Bates  was  authorized  to  recruit  a  new  company  under  the  old  organiza- 
tion, while  the  remaining  members  of  the  old  company  were  attached 
to  Battery  H,  Fifth  New  York  Artillery,  and  to  the  Seventh  and  Eighth 
New  York  batteries.  The  new  battery  was  stationed  at  Camp  Barry 
until  July,  1863,  after  which  until  it  was  mustered  out  it  was  employed 
in  Pennsylvania  and  on  the  border  to  prevent  raids  into  that  State. 

Company  K  of  the  Second  New  York  Artillery  was  chiefly  raised  in 
Herkimer  county,  mostly  in  and  near  Frankfort.  Pliny  L.  Joslin,  of 
Frankfort,  was  the  first  captain ;  Charles  Howell,  first  lieutenant,  and 
Joseph  C.  Tillinghast,  second  lieutenant;  James  Hares,  first  sergeant; 
Theodore  S.  Crosby,  second  sergeant ;  Charles  Horton,  Eliakim  F. 
Howell,  Loren  True  and  James  H.  Parks,  sergeants ;  Peter  W.  Gloo, 
Vernam  W.  Harvey,  James  Dodge,  Harvey  Rogers,  Charles  Rathbun, 
Andrew  M.  Lee,  Francis  A.  Lewis,  and  Myron  K.  Ellsworth,  cor- 
porals; David  Smalts,  bugler  ;  Benjamin  J.  Ford,  and  Jacob  J.  Wright, 
blacksmiths  ;  John  S.  Lewis,  wagoner,  all  of  Frankfort.  While  forming 
this  battery  was  stationed  at  Staten  Island  and^  in  the  winter  of  1861 
went  to  Forth  Worth,  Va.,  where  it  remained  until  the  summer  of  1862. 
It  then  joined  General  Pope's  command  and  participated  in  the  second 
fight  at  Bull  Run.  After  that  it  remained  stationed  at  Fort  Corcoran, 
Va.,  until  May,  1864.  The  battery  participated  in  the  entire  campaign 
of  1864,  suffering  loss  at  Spottsylvania,  and  sharing  in  many  later  en- 
gagements Its  loss  at  Strawberry  Plain  was  very  severe  and  included 
seven  commissioned  officers  in  killed  and  wounded.  On  the  Weldon 
Road  and  at  Hatcher's  Run  the  regiment  was  honorably  engaged  and 
duringthe  winter  of  1864-5  was  in  camp  in  front  of  Petersburg.  During 
the  campaign  which  closed  the  war  the  regiment  saw   the   most  active 


108  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTt. 

service,  after  which  it  returned  to  Washington  and  in  the  fall  was  mus- 
tered out. 

The  Sixteenth  Artillery  was  raised  in  this  State  and  mustered  into 
the  service  between  September  28,  1863,  and  January  28,  1864.  Her- 
kimer county  contributed  over  one  hundred  men  to  its  ranks,  more 
than  one  half  of  whom  were  in  Company  F.  The  most  severe  work  of 
this  organization  was  in  the  trenches  in  front  of  Petersburg  after  Au- 
gust, 1864.  It  remained  in  the  service  until  the  close  of  the  war  and 
was  mustered  out  August  21,  1865. 

In  Capt.  John  H.  Fralick's  company  (M)  of  the  Second  Regiment  of 
Rifles,  were  between  thirty  and  forty  Herkimer  county  men,  with  the 
following  officers: 

Captain,  John  H.  Fralick,  Little  Falls;  first  lieutenant,  Eli  Morse,  Little  Falls;  ser- 
geant, John  A.  Fralick,  Danube;  sergeant,  Thomas  Manion,  Manheim  ;  corporals,  Paul 
J.  Perry,  William  Hamilton,  Edward  A.  Tryon,  Patrick  Marion,  James  Costello  and 
Andrew  Bang,  Little  Falls  ;  musician,  William  Fleming,  Little  Falls ;  teamsters,  Jesse 
Cx.  Clute  and  William  A.  Wheeler,  Little  Falls;  farriers,  Phillip  Perry,  Danube,  and 
George  F.  Adams,  Little  Falls. 

The  regiment  was  organized  at  Buffalo  for  three  years'  service  and 
was  recruited  between  July,  1863,  and  February,  1864.  The  regiment 
left  Fort  Porter  in  March,  1864,  for  a  camp  near  Washington.  It  par- 
ticipated in  the  battles  of  Spottsylvania,  North  Anna,  Bethesda  Church, 
Cold  Harbor,  Petersburg,  Weldon  Road,  Hatcher's  Run,  and  shared  in 
the  pursuit  of  Lee  to  Appomattox.  At  Five  Forks  and  Jetersville  the 
regiment  was  engaged,  but  without  severe  loss.  After  the  surrender 
the  regiment  returned  to  Petersburg  and  pending  the  negotiations  be- 
tween Jolinston  and  Sherman  was  ordered  to  North  Carolina  to  rein- 
force Sherman.  With  Johnston's  surrender  the  regiment  returned  to 
Petersburg  and  from  there  to  Buckingham,  Va.,  where  it  performed 
provost  duty  until  August,  1865.  It  was  mustered  out  at  Buffalo  on 
the  loth  of  that  month.  The  regiment  left  home  with  1,500  men  and 
during  its  term  was  recruited  with  more  than  300.  It  returned  with 
between  700  and  800  men.  In  the  service  a  little  more  than  a  year, 
the  regiment  took  part  in  nineteen  engagements. 

The  Eighteenth  New  York  Cavalry,  mustered  into  the  service  Feb- 
ruary 3,  1864,  contained  about  twenty-five  men  from  Herkimer  county. 
Its  term  of  service  was  comparatively  short  and  hence  it  did  not  suffer 


The  civil  war  period.  io9 

very  heavy  losses.  The  Fourteenth  Cavalry  was  consolidated  with  this 
regiment  in  June,  1864,  and  the  force  as  thus  constituted  was  in  the 
service  until  May  31,  1865. 

In  this  very  brief  sketch  of  the  uprising  in  Herkimer  county  and  its 
generous  and  noble  support  of  the  government  in  the  great  Civil  War, 
we  have  not  space  for  mention  of  the  hundreds  of  heroic  deeds  done  by 
her  volunteers.  Tn  the  great  total  of  sacrifice  in  that  struggle  a  single 
death,  a  single  deed  of  heroism,  the  suffering  of  any  individual,  count 
for  but  little  ;  together  they  constitute  the  history  of  the  greatest  of 
modern  wars. 

The  records  show  that  this  county  was  in  the  fore  front  of  those  com- 
prising the  Empire  State  in  its  sacrifices  for  the  good  of  the  country. 

A  draft  was  anticipated  in  this  county  in  the  fall  of  1862,  but  the  offer 
of  liberal  bounties  and  the  energy  displayed  in  promoting  enlistments 
avoided  that  alternative.  Again  in  the  spring  and  summer  of  1863,  it 
seemed  as  though  no  effort  could  raise  the  troops  called  for  by  the  pres- 
ident ;  and  although  the  country  was  electrified  by  the  splendid  victories 
of  the  Union  armies  at  Gettysburg,  Vicksburg  and  elsewhere,  it  finally 
became  apparent  that  a  draft  could  not  be  avoided.  The  Twentieth 
district  was  composed  of  Jefferson,  Lewis  and  Herkimer  counties  and 
the  draft  began  in  Jefferson  county  on  the  25th  of  August,  the  proceed- 
ings taking  place  in  VVatertown.  Drafting  Herkimer  county  men  began 
on  the  27th,  and  the  following  table  shows  the  enrollment  and  the  num- 
ber drawn  in  each  town  : 

Columbia Enrollment,  225         Drawn,     64 

Danube 

Fairfield 

Frankfort ' 

German  Flats ' 

Herkimer 

Litchfield ' 

Little  Falls 

Manheim ' 

Newport ' 

Norway ' 

Ohio 

Russia    ' 

Salisbury ' 

Schuyler ' 

Stark  

Warren 

Wilmurt ' 

WinBeld 


165 

46 

201 

56 

356 

103 

647 

190 

295 

85 

136 

36 

617 

17G 

213 

60 

206 

67 

81 

21 

65 

16 

231 

43 

196 

55 

174 

49 

174 

51 

188 

"    20 

19 

3 

163 

44 

110  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

In  the  fall  elections  the  State  went  Republican  and  the  county  also 
by  about  i,000  majority. 

A  new  enrollment  was  ordered  late  in  1863,  and  with  the  repeated 
calls  for  troops,  bounties  were  increased  and  recruiting  was  pushed  with 
energy.  Under  the  call  for  500,000  men  a  draft  was  ordered  for  March 
10,  leaving  thirty-five  days  after  the  call  in  which  to  fill  the  various 
quotas.  At  that  time  the  county  had  a  credit  of  363  enlistments.  On 
the  14th  of  March  another  call  for  200,000  men  was  issued  and  a  draft 
for  all  deficiencies  ordered  for  April  15,  1864.  The  draft  did  not  take 
place  until  June  8,  by  which  date  the  enlistments  had  progressed  to  such 
an  extent  that  the  deficiency  throughout  the  county  was  very  lis^ht. 
The  following  table  gives  the  details  of  this,  the  last  draft  made  in  the 
county : 

Quota  under  Two  Calls.    Credits.     Deficiency.     Excess. 

Columbia G5  69  4 

Danube 47  47 

Fairfield     54  55  . .               1 

Frankfort 100  100 

German  Flats 188  132  56 

Herkimer 90  92  2 

Litchfield 41  38  3 

Little  Falls 176  176 

Manheim 61  44  17 

Newport 60  53  7 

Norway 25  18  7 

Obio 24  16  8 

Russia 88  44  24 

Salisbury 59  48  11 

Schuyler .11  52  . .              1 

Stark 62  48  4 

Warren 58  57  1 

Wilmurt 6  6 

Winfield 46  53  . .              7 

Another  call  for  500,000  volunteers  was  made  July  18,  1864,  to  be 
followed  by  a  draft  September  5.  Russia  was  the  first  town  in  this 
county  to  fill  her  quota  under  this  call,  and  through  the  payment  of 
enormous  bounties  and  the  utmost  activity  and  perseverance  of  the  loyal 
people,  the  quota  was  filled.  In  spite  of  these  repeated  calls  and  the 
opposition  of  those  who  had  already  declared  the  war  unnecessary  and 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD.  Ill 

a  failure,  the  fall  elections  went  strongly  for  the  Union,  while  troops 
came  forward  with  alacrity  to  the  succeeding  calls  of  the  president,  and 
in  the  spring  of  1865  the  people  of  the  county  had  the  extreme  satis- 
faction of  joining  in  the  grand  demonstrations  that  were  made  all  over 
the  North  upon  the  surrender  of  the  Southern  armies. 

There  is  little  further  to  add  to  the  general  history  of  the  county  that 
is  not  given  in  detail  in  following  chapters  and  in  the  histories  of  the 
various  towns.  It  is  nearly  thirty  years  since  the  close  of  the  war  and 
almost  the  whole  of  that  period  has  witnessed  a  steady  growth  in  Herki- 
mer county,  in  population  and  general  prosperity.  This  is  particularly 
true  of  the  increase  of  manufactures,  which  are  fully  described  in  the 
histories  of  the  towns.  At  the  same  time  agricultural  interests,  depend- 
ing largely  upon  dairying  interests,  have  been  far  more  prosperous  than 
in  many  other  localities.  The  opening  of  the  West  Shore  Railroad  in 
1883,  though  holding  out  considerable  promise  of  benefit,  can  scarcely 
be  said  to  have  fulfilled  public  expectations;  but  the  same  statement 
applies  to  its  entire  line.  The  building  of  the  Adirondack  and  St  Law- 
rence road  and  the  one  extending  from  Little  Falls  to  Dolgeville,  both 
of  which  have  been  put  in  operation  in  1892,  cannot  fail  to  be  of  im- 
portance to  all  of  the  towns  north  of  the  river.  In  short,  it  may  be  said 
that  there  are  few  of  the  interior  counties  of  the  State,  especially  among 
those  that  do  not  depend  upon  the  progress  of  some  large  city,  that 
has  a  brighter  outlook  than  Herkimer. 

In  the  year  1800  the  population  of  Herkimer  county  was  16,332. 
The  increase  since  that  time  as  shown  by  the  census  reports  is  as  follows : 
1810,  24,742;  1820,  31,017;  1825,  33,040;  1830,  35,870;  1835, 
36,201;  1840,37,477;  1845,37,424;  1850;  38,244;  1855,  38,566; 
i860,  40,561;  1865,39,154;  1870,39,929;  1875,41,586;  1880,42,- 
66-]  ;   1890,   45,608. 

The  fluctuations  of  population  in  the  various  towns  of  the  county 
since  the  census  are  shown  in  the  following  table  : 

1855        1S60         1865        1870         T87S        1880        iSgo 

Columbia  1,831  1,893  1,732  1,637  1,589  1,616  1,380 

Danube 1,791  1,711  1,343  1,324  1,238  1,235  1,116 

Fairfield 1,493  1,712  1,649  1,653  1,567  1,656  1,553 

Frankfort 3,217  3,247  3,087  3,065  3,402  3,025  3,988 

German  Flats 3,855  3,940  5,074  5,718  7,371  6.746  7,255 

Herkimer .2,866  2,804  2,922  2,949  3,322  3,593  4,666 


112  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

1S55       i860       1865       1870       1875        1880       jSgo 

Litchfield l,r)82  1,520  1,397  1.384  1,248  1,218  1,055 

Little  Falls 4,930  5,989  5,588  5,612  5,846  6,913  7,512 

Manheim 1,672  1,868  1,831  2,000  2,173  2,421  3,809 

Newport    2,015  2,113  1.983  1,954  1,790  1,953  1,835 

Norway 1,059  1,105  1,080  1,117  1,0.54  1,045  818 

Ohio 1,087  1,135  928  1,009  980  901  832 

Russia 2,288  2,389  2,030  2,220  2,048  2.177  2,145 

Sahsbury 2,306  2,325  2,123  1,933  1,875  1,884  1,800 

Schuyler 1,690  1,715  1,.589  1,5.58  1,497  1,452  1,259 

.Stark 1.478  1,543  1.522  1,541  1,395  1,476  1,248 

Warren 1,741  1,812  1,611  1,.503  1,461  1,430  1,339 

Wilmurt 2,268  260  148  191  185  271  375 

Winfield 1,397  1,480  1,517  1,501  1,539  1,597  1,665 

State  Senators. — The  first  constitution  divided  the  State  into  four  senate  districts — 
"Southern,"  "  Middle,"  "  Eastern,"  and  "  Western."  Herkimer  county,  on  its  forma- 
tion, became  a  part  of  the  last  named,  but  was  changed  to  the  Eastern  in  1815.  An- 
drew Finck,  jr.,  of  Manheim,  went  from  the  Western  district  in  1784,  and  the  next 
three  years;  Michael  Myers,  of  Herkimer,  from  1796  to  1801,  inclusive;  John  Meyer, 
of  Herkimer,  in  1802;  Matthias  B.  Tallmadge,  of  Herkimer,  in  1803,  1804  and  1805; 
Nathan  Smith,  of  Fairfield,  from  1800  to  1814;  John  I.  Prendergast,  of  Winfield.  in 
1815.  The  gentleman  last  named  was  a  senator  from  the  Eastern  district  in  1816,  1817 
and  1818,  and  George  Rosecrantz,  of  German  Flats,  in  the  next  four  years.  The 
second  constitution  divided  the  State  into  eight  senate  district.*,  entitled  to  four  sen- 
ators apiece.  Herkimer  county  belonged  to  the  fifth  until  May  23,  1836,  when  it  was 
transferred  to  the  fourth.  Under  the  present  constitution  this  county,  with  Mont- 
gomery, Fulton  and  Hamilton,  at  first  formed  the  sixteenth  district.  In  1857  Herki- 
mer and  Otsego  were  made  the  twentieth,  to  which,  in  1879,  Madison  was  added  ; 
and  in  1892  changed  to  Herkimer,  Saratoga,  Schenectady  and  Montgomery.  The  repre- 
sentatives of  the  district  from  Herkimer  county  under  the  second  and  third 
constitutions  have  been  as  follows:  Sherman  Wooster,  of  Newport,  1823-27  ;  Nathaniel 
S.  Benton.  1828-31;  Edmund  Varney,  of  Russia,  1842-45;  Thomas  Burch,  Little 
Fall-s  1848,  1849;  George  H.  Fox.  Mohawk,  1850,  1851;  Frederick  P.  Bellinger, 
Herkimer.  1856,  18.57;  Addison  H.  Laflin,  Herkimer,  1858,  1859;  George  A.  Hardin, 
Little  Falls,  1862,  1863;  John  B.  Van  Petten,  Fairfield,  1868,  1SG9  ;  Archibald  C. 
McGowan,  Frankfort.  1872-75;  David  P.  Looniis,  1876,  1877;  Samuel  S.  Edick, 
1878,  1879.  Albert  M.  Mills  received  majority  of  votes  in  1879;  Titus  Sheard, 
received  majority  of  votes  in  1889. 

Members  of  Congress. — Herkimer  county,  when  formed,  became  part  of  a  congres- 
sional district  containing,  besides,  Montgomery,  Otsego,  Tioga,  Ontario,  and  part 
of  Albany.  In  1792  the  part  of  Albany  was  taken  ofl"  and  Onondaga  was  added  upon 
its  formation.  In  1797  Herkimer  was  put  into  the  ninth  district,  with  Montgomery, 
Oneida  and  Chenango.  In  1802  it  vras  joined  with  Oneida  and  St.  Lawrence  to  form 
the  fifteenth,  to  which,  in  1804.  Jefferson  and  Lewis  were  added.  Oneida  was  taken 
off  in  1808,  and  in  1812  the  seventeenth  district  was  formed   from  Herkimer  and 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD.  113 

Madison.  Ten  years  later,  Herkimer  alone  became  the  fifteenth  district.  In  1832 
Herkimer  and  Lewis  became  the  sixteenth,  and  in  1842  Herkimer  and  Montgomery 
were  made  the  seventeenth.  In  1851  St.  Lawrence  took  the  place  of  Montgomery  in 
this  district.  In  J8G2  Herkimer  county,  Jefferson  and  Lewis  were  constituted  the 
twentieth  district.  In  1873  the  same  district  was  numbered  the  twenty-second,  in 
1883  changed  to  Herkimer,  Otsego  and  Schoharie  ;  and  in  1892  changed  to  Herkimer 
and  Oneida,  and  now  called  the  twenty-fifth.  The  members  of  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives from  Herkimer  county  in  the  several  Congresses  have  been  as  follows: 

Vlllth  Congress  (1803-5),  Gaylord  Griswold,  Herkimer;  Xlth  (1809-11),  John 
Nicholson,  Herkimer;  XlVth  (1815-17),  Westel  Willoughby,  jr.,  Newport;  XVth 
and  XVIth  (1817-21),  Aaron  Hackley,  jr.,  Herkimer;  XVIIIth  (1823-25),  John  Her- 
kimer ;  XlXth-XXIId  (1825-33),  Michael  Hoffman,  Herkimer ;  XXIIId  and  XXIVth 
(1833-37),  Abijah  Mann,  jr.,  Fairfield;  XXVth  (1837-39),  Arphaxed  Loomis,  Little 
Falls;  XXVIIIth  and  XXIXth  (1843-47),  Charles  S.  Benton,  Mohawk;  XXXth 
(1847-49),  George  Petrie.  Little  Falls;  XXXIst  (1848-51),  Henry  P.  Alexander, 
Little  Falls;  XXXIId  (1851-53),  Alexander  H.  Buel,  Fairfield;  XXXIVth- 
XXXVIth  (1855-61),  Francis  E.  Spinner,  Mohawk;  XXXIXth-XLIst  (1865-71), 
Addison  H.  Laflin,  Herkimer:  Warner  Miller,  of  Herkimer,  received  majority  of 
votes  in  1878,  1880. 

Comity  Clerks. — Jonas  Piatt,  February  17th,  1791  ;  Joab  Griswold,  March  19th 
1798;  Blihu  Griswold.  April  6th,  1804,  and  March  4th,  1811  ;  Peter  M.  Myers,  Februl 
ary  28th,  1810,  and  February  23d,  1813;  Aaron  Hackley,  jr.,  February  12th,  1812 
and  February  16th,  1815;  Walter  Fish,  April  16th,  1817;  John  Mahon,  February' 
13th,  1821;  Jabez  Fox,  1823;  Abijah  BecKwith,  1826;  Julius  C.  Nelson,  1832; 
John  Dygert,  1835;  Edwin  A.  Munson,  1841;  Standish  Barry,  1847;  Elkenah  T. 
Cleland,  1853 ;  Cornelius  T.  B.  Van  Home,  1856  ;  Zenas  Green,  1861 ;  Douglass  Ben- 
net,  1867;  Edward  Simm.s,  1878;  Palmer  M.  Wood,  1880;  Arthur  T.  Smith,  1886; 
Levi  C.  Smith,  1889  ;  Nelson  E.  Ransom,  1892. 

County  Treasurers. — Robert  Ethridge,  1848  and  1866 ;  Horatio  W.  Johnson,  1851  ' 
C.  C.  Witherstine,  1854;  Allen  W.Eaton,  1857;  Floyd  0.  Shepard,  1863  ;  Alphonzo 
D.Marshall,  1872;  Albert  Story,  1878;  Caleb  P.  Miller,  1885;  Sylvanus  J.  Waters, 
jr.,  1888  ;  Thomas  Bailey,  1891. 

Assemhlym'en. — The  members  of  the  Assembly  from  the  territory  of  Herkimer  county 
while  it  was  part  of  Tryon  were  Michael  Edic  and  Abraham  Van  Home,  elected  in 
1777  and  1778;  George  Henry  Bell  and  Abraham  Van  Home,  elected  in  1776-79; 
William  Retry  elected  in  1781,  and  1782;  and  Andrew  Frinck,  elected  in  1782. 
From  Montgomery  county  Van  Home  was  a  member  in  1786  ;  Henry  Staring 
was  elected  in  1788,  and  Michael  Myers  in  1789-91.  Since  its  organization  Her- 
kimer county  has  been  represented  as  follows:  In  1792,  1793,  Michael  Myers;  1794, 
1795,  Jedediah  Sanger;  1796,  Jonas  Piatt;  1797,  Isaac  Brayton,  Arthur  Breese, 
Matthew  Brown,  jr.,  Lodowick  Campbell,  Gaylord  Griswold,  Joshua  Leeland,  Henry 
McNeil;  1798,  Benjamin  Bowen,  Matthew  Brown,  jr.,  Lodowick  Campbell,  Isaac 
Foot,  Gaylord  Griswold,  Henry  McNeil,  Nathan  Smith;  1799,  Lodowick  Campbell, 
John  Cummins,  jr.,  Phineas  Gates;  1800,  Thomas  Manly,  John  Mills,  John  Meyer; 
15 


114  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

1801,  Nathan  Smith,  Evans  Wharry,  George  Widrig;  1802,  Nathan  Smith,  Samuel 
Merry,  jr.,  George  Widrig;  1803,  Stephen  Miller,  George  Widrig,  Samuel  Wright. 
1804  and  1805,  Evans  Wharry,  George  Widrig,  Samuel  Wright;  180C,  Eldad  Corbet' 
George  Widrig,  Samuel  Wright;  1807,  John  Kennedy,  George  Widrig,  Samuel 
Wright;  1808  and  1809,  Aaron  Budlong,  John  M.  Petrie,  Westel  Willoughby,  jr. ; 
1810,  Christopher  P.  Bellinger,  Rudolph  Devendorff,  Thomas  Manly;  1811,  Christo- 
pher P.  Bellinger,  Robert  Burch,  Hosea  Nelson;  1812,  Robert  Burch.  Rudolph  I. 
Shoemaker,  Samuel  Woodworth;  1813,  John  Graves,  Hosea  Nelson,  Rudolph  I. 
Shoemaker;  1814,  Christopher  P.  Bellinger,  Jonas  Cleland,  Aaron  Eackley,  jr.; 
1815.  Jonas  Cleland,  Aaron  Hackley,  jr.,  John.  McCombs ;  181G,  William  D.  Ford, 
Henry  Hopkin.'!,  John  McCombs;  1817,  Abijah  Beckwith,  William  D.  Ford,  George 
Rosecrantz;  1818,  Nichol  Fosdick,  Aaron  Hackley,  jr.,  George  Rosecrantz;  1819,  Jonas 
Cleland,  Nichol  Fosdick,  Henry  Gros;  1820,  Phdo  M.  Hackley,  Jacob  Markell,  James 
Orton ;  1821,  Simeon  Ford,  Thomas  Manly,  Daniel  Van  Home;  1822,  Stephen 
Todd,  Simeon  Ford,  Robert  Shoemaker;  1823,  Abijah  Beckwith,  John  Dygert, 
Henry  Tillinghast;  1824,  Christopher  P.  Bellinger,  Caleb  Budlong,  John  Graves;  1825, 
Samael  Dexter,  jr.,  Warner  Folts,  Jacob  Wire;  182G,  Jonas  Cleland,  Nicholas  Schuyler, 
Edmund  Varney  ;  1S27,  Frederick  P.  Bellinger,  Daniel  C.  Henderson,  Richard  Smith, 
2d;  1828,  David  R.  Currier,  Abijah  Mann,  jr.,  John  P.  Snell ;  1829,  John  B.  Dygert, 
Abijah  Mann,  jr.,  Cornelius  Sloughter ;  1830,  Frederick  P.  Bellinger,  Russell  Hopkins, 
Abijah  Mann,  jr.;  1831,  Atwater  Cooke,  jr.,  Olmstead  Hough,  Nicholas  Lawyer;  1832, 
William  C.  Grain,  Daniel  Dygert,  David  Thorp;  1833,  Dudley  Burwell,  Joseph  M. 
Prendergast,  Sherman  Wooster ;  1834,  Augustus  Beardslee,  Timothy  J.  Campbell, 
Charles  Dyer  ;  1835,  Charles  Gray,  Peter  P.  Murphy,  Henry  Tillinghast ;  1836,  Stephen 
Ayers,  Frederick  Bellinger,  Thomas  Hawks;  1837,  Henry  L.  Easton,  Aaron  Hackley; 
1838,  Abijah  Mann,  jr.,  Volney  Owen  ;  1839,  Benjamin  Carver,  Atwater  Cook,  jr.  ; 
1840.  Daniel  Bellinger,  George  Burch;  1841  and  1842,  Michael  Hoffman,  Arphaxed 
Loomis;  1843,  Walter  Booth,  John  T.  Hall ;  1844,  Michael  Hoffman,  Peter  H.  Warren  ; 
1845,  Alexander  H.  Buell,  William  C.  Grain;  1846,  William  C.  Grain,  Henry  Eysaman  ; 
1847,  Abijah  Beckwith,  Jefferson  Tillinghast.  (Herkimer  county  had  now  become  two' 
districts,  the  first  embracing  all  the  towns  wholly  or  partly  north  of  the  river,  except 
Schuyler.  The  members  from  the  first  district  will  be  mentioned  first.)  1848,  James 
Feeter,  Little  Falls ;  Lawrence  L.  Merry,  Mohawk ;  1849,  Frederick  P.  Bellinger, 
Herkimer;  Asa  Wilcox,  Newville;  1850,  Asa  Vickery,  Ohio;  Humphrey  G.  Root, 
Mohawk;  1851,  John  H.  Wooster,  Newport;  Daniel  Shall,  Starkville ;  1852,  John 
Hoover,  Clermont;  Charles  Delong.  Richfield  Springs;  1853,  Arphaxed  Loomis,  Little 
Falls;  John  W.  Beckwith,  Cedarville;  1854, Gardner  Hiiikley,  Wilmurt ;  Dean  Burgess, 
Winfield;  1855,  Edmund  G.  Chapin,  Little  Falls;  William  Bridenbecker,  Frankfort; 
1856,  Samuel  Greene,  Fairfield ;  Amos  H.  Prescott,  Mohawk ;  1857,  John  H.  Wooster, 
Newport;  Harris  Lewis,  Frankfort;  1858,  William  Coppernoll,  Ohio;  Harris  Lewis, 
Frankfort;  1859,  Solomon  Graves,  Gravesville  ;  Lester  Green,  Danube ;  1860,  Stephen 
R.  Millington,  Norway;  Irving  Holcomb,  Cedarville;  1861,  John  Markell,  Manheim 
Center;  Josiah  Shull.  Mohawk;  18G2,  Orson  Moore,  Russia;  George  Springer,  Stark- 
ville; 1863,  Grillin  Sweet,  Fairfield;  Archibald  C.  McGowan,  Frankfort;   1864,  John 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  PERIOD.  llo 

H.  Wooster,  Newport;  Ezra  D.  Beckwith,  Cedarville;  1865,  Henry  Tillinghast,  Nor- 
way; E.  Bradley  Lee,  West  Winfield ;  1866,  Steplien  Turtelot,  Herkimer;  Archibald 
C.  MoGowan,  Frankfort;  18G7  (the  county  having  been  made  one  district  in  1866), 
Seth  M.  Richmond,  Little  Falls;  1868.  Eli.sha  W.  Stannard,  Springfiehi  Center;  1869. 
Erasmus  W.  Day,  West  Schuyler;  1870  and  1871,  Daniel  A.  Northrup,  Salisbury  Cen- 
ter ;  1872  and  1873,  Eleazer  C.  Rice,  Fairfield  ;  1874  and  1875,  Warner  Miller,  Herki'- 
mer;  1876  and  1877,  Myron  A.  McKee  ;  1878  and  1879,  Titus  Sheard ;  1880  and  1881. 
William  D.  Gorsline;  1882,  Albert  M.  Ross;  1883,  George  W.  Smith;  1885  and  1886, 
John  M.  Budlong;  1887  and  1888,  P.  H.  MoEvoy ;  1889,  Dewitt  J.  Mesiok;  1890, 
John  D.  Henderson;   1891  and  1892,  Henry  H.  Green. 

Herkimer  county  was  represented  in  the  State  convention  of  i8oi, 
which  fixed  the  number  of  senators  and  members  of  the  Assembly,  by 
George  Rosecrantz,  Matthias  P.  TaUmadge  and  Evans  Wharry.  The 
delegates  to  the  constitutional  convention  of  182 1  were  Sanders  Lansing, 
Richard  Van  Home  and  Sherman  Wooster.  Michael  Hoffman  and 
Arphaxed  Loomis  represented  the  county  in  the  constitutional  conven- 
tion of  1846. 

Lorenzo  Caryl,  of  Little  Falls,  was  appointed  State  assessor  January 
28,  1870.  X.  A  Willard,  of  Little  Falls,  was  canal  collector  at  that 
place  from  i860  to  1862.  Michael  Hoffman  was  appointed  canal  com- 
misioner  April  4,  1833,  and  William  L  Skinner,  of  Little  Falls,  was 
elected  to  the  same  office  November  8,  1859. 

Ezra  Graves,  of  Herkimer,  was  elected  inspector  of  State  prisons 
November  5,  1872. 

■  Nathan  Smith,  of  Fairfield,  was  elected  one  of  the  regents  of  the  uni- 
versity January  31,  1809. 

Presidental  electors  have  been  chosen  from  this  county  as  follows: 
In  1796,  Peter  Smith  ;  18 12,  George  Rosecrantz  ;  1816,  Nichol  Fosdick  ; 
1828,  Rufus  Grain;  1836,  Henry  Ellison  ;  184O,  Thomas  Burch  ;  1848, 
Asa  Chatfield;  1852,  William  C.  Grain  ;  i860,  Abijah  Beckwith;  1878, 
H.  H.  Morgan. 


HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 


CHAPTER  VII. 
HISTORY    OF    CHEESE    DAIRYING    IN    HERKIMER    COUNTY.l 

BY  referring  to  the  map  of  Herkimer  county,  it  will  be  seen  that  at 
about  halfway  between  its  northern  and  southern  boundaries  a  part 
of  Hamilton  county  breaks  the  regularity  of  the  dividing  line,  advancing 
into  Herkimer,  forming  an  angle.  From  this  angle,  nearly  all  north  (about 
one-half  of  the  county)  is  a  wilderness,  covered  for  the  most  part  with  a 
dense  forest.  The  soil  here  is  light  and  poor,  the  climate  cold,  and 
when  the  land  becomes  divested  of  its  timber,  the  snow,  which  here 
falls  to  a  great  depth  and  remains  long  on  the  ground,  together  with 
the  early  and  late  frosts,  must  render  the  land  of  little  value  compara- 
tively for  agricultural  purposes.  This  part  of  the  county  is  the  great 
lumber  region,  where  parties  are  slowly  making  their  way  northward, 
felling  the  hemlock  for  its  bark,  and  the  spruce  and  cedar  for  flooring- 
plank,  timber,  boards  and  shingles.  It  is  the  southern  part  of  Herkimer 
county  with  which  we  have  to  do  ;  for  here  lie  her  dairy  lands,  dotted 
with  herds,  the  produce  of  which  has  rendered  the  county  noted 
throughout  the  continent  and  in  the  markets  of  Europe. 

The  Mohawk  River  divides  the  southern  portion  of  the  county,  and 
as  we  approach  that  stream  from  the  angle  made  by  Hamilton  county 
the  general  character  of  the  climate  and  soil  improves,  the  latter  increas- 
ing more  and  more  in  its  fertility. 

The  limited  space  allowed  for  this  chapter  will  not  permit  us  to  treat 
of  the  various  soils  in  the  several  towns,  and  we  can  only  speak  of  that 
which  is  supposed  to  be  a  characteristic  feature  in  rendering  the  lands 
of  the  county  superior  for  dairy  purposes. 

The  rock  which  underlies  a  large  share  of  the  lands  in  the  towns 
north  of  the  Mohawk  is  the  Utica  slate.  It  is  of  a  dark  color,  of  a  soft 
or  flaky  nature,  is  found  cropping  out  in  numerous  places,  and  when 
exposed  to  the  atmosphere  and  frosts  readily  falls  in  pieces  and  is 
mingled  with  the  soil.     This  rock  contains  considerable  organic  matter 

'  Knim  a  paper  written  by  the  late  X.  A.  Willard,  in  1878. 


HISTORY  OF  CHEESE  DAIRYING.  lit 

(according  to  Emmons,  more  than  ten  parts  in  one  hundred),  is  charged 
with  sulphur  and  contains  lime,  and  when  near  the  surface  forms  a  soil 
rich  in  fertilizing  elements,  and  not  easily  exhaustible  Instances  can 
be  pointed  out  where  fields  of  this  black  slate  land  have  been  plowed 
and  cultivated  tor  more  than  twenty  years  in  succession  without  the 
application  of  manures,  and  yielding  good  returns  each  year ;  and 
there  are  pastures  and  meadows  that  iiave  lain  in  grass  for  thirty  or 
forty  years,  and  which  are  still  yielding  abundant  crops. 

In  the  towns  south  of  the  Mohawk  River  the  Utica  slate  is  found 
only  to  a  limited  extent,  the  Frankfort  slate,  hmestone  and  Marcellus 
shales  being  the  characteristic  underlying  rocks. 

It  is  the  modifying  influence  which  these  rocks  are  supposed  to  exert 
on  the  grasses,  and  the  comparatively  large  surface  over  which  they  ex- 
tend, together  with  the  abundant  supply  of  never-  failing  streams  and 
springs  of  pure  water,  that  render  Herkimer  county  peculiarly  adapted 
to  grazing,  giving  a  richness  and  flavor  to  her  cheese  product  not  easily 
obtained  in  less  favored  locahties. 

The  fall  of  rain  and  snow  during  the  year  is  considerably  more  here 
than  in  many  other  parts  of  the  State,  and  this  is  supposed  to  act  favor- 
ably on  the  grasses  and  in  the  preservation  of  meadows.  The  grasses 
usually  grown  and  considered  most  productive  are  timothy,  June  or 
Kentucky  blue-grass,  red  top  and  orchard  grass,  with  the  clovers,  red 
and  white.  These  grow  on  the  same  sward  and  are  well  adapted  to  the 
soil  and  climate.  White  clover  and  June  grass  are  indigenous,  and 
are  deemed  of  great  value  for  pasturage.  Gypsum  has  for  a  long  time 
been  in  general  use  throughout  the  county.  It  is  sown  in  early  spring 
on  pastures  and  meadows,  and  adds  greatly  to  the  productiveness  of 
grasses  and  clovers.  No  other  mineral  or  foreign  fertilizer  is  in  general 
use. 

Stock. — Reliance  lias  been  placed  for  the  most  part  on  the  native  or 
common  cow  for  supplying  the  dairies  of  the  county.  At  first,  and  for 
many  years  after  dairying  had  become  established,  farmers  raised  their 
own  stock  by  selecting  calves  from  their  best  cows,  and  in  this  way  the 
milking  stock  was  greatly  improved.  The  early  settlers  along  the  Mo  • 
hawk  came  mostly  from  Germany  and  Holland,  and  they  brought  with 
them  and  reared  here  what  was  known  as  the  "  Dutch  cow."     She  was 


118  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

medium  in  size,  black  and  white,  often  red  and  white,  very  hardy,  a 
good  feeder  and  of  deep  millving  habit.  The  early  dairymen  got  their 
best  cows  from  this  breed,  specimens  of  which  are  now  rarely  seen, 
for  as  the  price  of  cheese  advanced,  the  practice  of  filling  up  the  herds 
with  stock  driven  from  otlier  counties,  often  from  remote  localities,  ob- 
tained ;  and  although  this  means  of  keeping  good  the  herd  was  more 
or  less  deprecated  by  farmers  as  unsatisfactory,  still  the  practice  grew 
and  became  pretty  general. 

About  the  year  1830  Christian  Sharer,  of  the  town  of  Little  Falls, 
introduced  the  pure-blooded  Short-Horn  Durhams,  and  subsequently 
Mr.  Wakeman,  of  Herkimer,  and  others  brought  into  the  county  the 
same  breed.  Mr.  Sharer,  we  believe,  made  a  voyage  to  England,  bring- 
ing back  with  him  some  of  this  breed.  This  st;ck  had  the  reputation 
of  being  good  milkers,  and  they  were  crossed  to  some  extent  through 
the  county  on  the  native  or  common  cow,  the  offspring  proving  to  be 
superior  milkers  Mr.  Sharer,  it  is  believed,  was  the  first  to  introduce 
thoroughbred  milk  stock  into  the  county.  He  owned  at  the  time  a  large 
and  excellent  dairy  farm  about  two  and  a  half  miles  north  of  the  village 
of  Little  Falls,  where  he  kept  a  herd  of  forty  cows  or  more,  and  was 
considered  a  thrifty  and  prosperous  farmer. 

As  years  went  on  other  pure-blooded  animals  of  different  breeds  were 
introduced,  namely,  the  Devon,  the  Ayrshire,  and  more  recently  the 
Jersey  and  Dutch  or  Holstein  breeds.  Mr.  A.  L.  Fish,  of  Winfield, 
was  among  the  first  to  try  Ayrshires  ;  General  P.  F.  Bellinger,  of  Her- 
kimer, Jerseys  ;  and  Hon.  W.  I.  Skinner,  of  Little  Falls,  Ayrshires  and 
Holsteins. 

Within  the  last  ten  or  a  dozen  years  the  attention  of  farmers  has  been 
turned  to  the  improvement  of  dairy  stock,  and  many  dairymen  are  now 
crossing  the  thoroughbred  Ayrshire,  the  Jersey  or  the  Holstein  on  the 
common  cows  of  the  country  ;  and  the  result  has  been  quite  satisfactory 
in  obtaining  deep  milking  stock. 

Cheese-dairying — Herkimer  county  may  justly  claim  the  honor  of 
giving  birth  to  cheese-dairying  as  a  specialty  in  America.  It  was  from 
Herkimer  county  that  the  business  began  to  spread  to  the  adjoining 
counties,  and  from  thence  to  the  different  States  and  to  Canada.  In 
many  instances   Herkimer  county  dairymen,   removing  to  distant    lo- 


HISTORY  OF  CHEESE  DAIRYING.  119 

calities,  were  the  first  to  plant  the  business  in  their  new  homes  ;  while 
in  many  sections  cheese- dairying  was  commenced  by  drawing  upon 
Herlvimer  for  cheese  makers  to  manage  the  dairies.  Often,  too,  par- 
ties were  sent  into  the  county  to  obtain  a  knowledge  of  cheese- making, 
and  returning  home  carried  the  art  into  new  districts.  Thus  for  many 
years  Herkimer  was  the  great  center  from  which  the  new  districts 
drew  the  necessary  information  and  skill  for  prosecuting  the  business  of 
cheese  dairying  with  profit  and  success. 

Cheese  was  made  in  small  quantities  in  the  county  as  early  as  1800. 
In  1785  a  number  of  persons  emigrating  from  New  England  settled  in 
the  town  of  Fairfield  ;  among  them  may  be  named  Cornelius  Chatfield, 
Benjamin  Bowen,  Nathan  Arnold,  John  Bucklin,  Daniel  Fenner,  Nathan 
Smith,  the  Eatons  and  Neelys,  Peter  and  Bela  Ward,  Nathaniel  and 
William  Brown  and  others.  Some  of  these  families,  coming  from 
Cheshire,  Mass.,  brought  with  them  a  practical  knowledge  of  the 
method  by  which  cheese  was  made  in  a  small  way  in  Cheshire. 
But  notable  among  these  families  were  Nathan  Arnold,  Daniel  Fen- 
ner and  the  Browns,  who  settled  in  the  southern  part  of  the  town  of 
Fairfield  and  near  each  other.  Arnold's  wife  was  a  cheese- maker,  and 
he  is  the  first,  it  is  believed,  who  began  cheese  dairying  in  the  county. 
He  came  into  the  county  poor,  but  he  was  rich  in- health  and  strength. 

Except  along  the  Mohawk  nearly  the  whole  county  was  then  a  dense 
forest.  Brant,  the  famous  Mohawk  chief,  and  his  bloody  warriors  had 
been  gone  several  years,  but  traces  of  their  pillage  and  murders  were 
fresh  among  the  early  settlers  in  the  valley  and  along  the  river.  The 
old  Dutch  heroine,  Mrs.  Shell,  whose  part  in  the  defense  of  the  family 
fort  has  been  related,  was  then  living  a  few  miles  east  of  Fort  Dayton. 
The  house  stood  on  the  black  slate  hills  rising  near  the  Mohawk  to  the 
north,  overlooking  a  long  line  of  charming  scenery.  Beyond  was  a 
valley  and  a  still  higher  elevation.  Here  the  sturdy  young  New 
Englander  picked  his  land.  His  strong  arms  felled  the  timber  over 
many  acres.  He  built  his  log  house  and  established  his  herd  upon  the 
soil. 

From  such  a  beginning  sprung  the  mighty  giant  that  is  now  stalking 
over  the  continent,  dotting  the  land  with  countless  herds. 

From  1800  to  1826  cheese-dairying  had  become  pretty  general  in 
Herkimer  county,  but  the  herds  were  mostly  small.     As  early  as  181 2— 


120  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

i6,  the  largest  herds,  numbering  about  forty  cows  each,  were  those  be- 
longing to  William  Ferris,  Samuel  Carpenter,  Nathan  Salisbury  and  Isaac 
Smith,  in  the  northern  part  of  the  county,  and  they  were  regarded  as 
extraordinary  for  their  size. 

About  1826  the  business  began  to  be  established  in  the  adjoining 
counties,  in  single  dairies,  here  and  there,  and  generally  by  persons 
emigrating  from  Herkimer  county.  The  implements  and  appurtenances 
of  the  dairy  were  then  very  rude.  The  milking  was  done  in  open  yards, 
and  milking  barns  were  unknown.  The  milk  was  curded  in  wooden 
tubs,  the  curd  cut  with  a  long  wooden  knife  and  broken  with  the  hands  ; 
the  cheeses  were  pressed  in  log  presses  standing  exposed  to  the  weather. 
The  cheeses  were  generally  thin  and  small.  They  were  held  through 
the  season,  and  in  the  fall,  when  ready  for  market,  they  were  packed  in 
rough  casks  made  for  the  purpose  and  shipped  to  dififerent  localities  for 
home  consumption  Prices  in  these  days  were  low,  ranging  from  4  cents 
to  6  cents  per  pound.  The  leading  buyers  previous  to  1826  were  W. 
Ferris  &  Robert  Nesbith,  from  Massachusetts.  Nesbith  was  a  Quaker 
and  is  remembered  as  having  a  sober,  sedate  countenance.  Ferris,  his 
partner,  was  of  a  more  gay  and  festive  turn. 

Their  manner  of  conducting  operations  was  often  shrewd.  Nesbith, 
it  is  said,  generally  went  his  rounds  first,  visiting  every  dairy,  and  we 
are  told  that  he  knew  how  to  impress  dairymen  in  regard  to  the  inferior- 
ity of  their  goods,  and  to  raise  serious  doubts  in  the  minds  of  many  as 
to  whether  cheese  could  be  marketed  at  anything  like  living  rates.  He 
spoke  of  the  difficulties  of  trade  and  the  pressure  of  the  money  market, 
and  was  not  exactly  prepared  to  purchase,  though  sometimes  in  excep- 
tional cases  he  was  prevailed  upon  to  buy  certain  small  lots  at  low  fig- 
ures. By  the  time  he  got  through  his  visitation  the  dairymen  were  feel- 
ing somewhat  discouraged,  and  were  ready  to  make  easy  terms  with  any 
buyer.  Then  Ferris  made  his  appearance,  and  his  off  hand,  generous 
way  of  doing  business  somehow  carried  the  conviction  that  he  was  an 
operator  willing  to  pay  to  the  last  cent  the  value  of  the  goods.  His 
prices  were  considerably  better  than  those  offered  by  his  partner  Nes- 
bith, and  as  this  partnership  was  not  known  to  the  dairymen,  the  latter 
eagerly  closed  their  sales,  with  the  impression  that  good  bargains  had 
been  made. 


HISTORY  OF  CHEESE  DAIRYING.  121 

In  1826  Harry  Burrell,  of  Salisbury,  Herkimer  county,  then  a  young 
man  full  of  enterprise  and  courage,  having  learned  something  of  the 
markets  and  the  sly  methods  of  Ferris  &  Nesbith,  resolved  to  enter  the 
field  as  their  competitor.  He  pushed  his  operations  with  great  vigor, 
and  bought  a  large  share  of  the  cheese  at  a  price  above  that  figured  by 
the  Massachusetts  firm.  He  afterwards  became  the  chief  dealer  in  dairy 
goods  in  Central  New  York,  often  purchasing  the  entire  product  of  cheese 
made  in  the  United  States. 

Mr.  Burrell  was  the  first  to  open  a  cheese  trade  with  England,  com- 
mencing shipping  as  a  venture  about  the  year  1830  or  1832  at  the  sug- 
gestion of  the  late  Erastus  Corning,  of  Albany.  The  first  shipment  was 
about  10,000  pounds.  He  was  the  first,  also,  to  send  cheese  to  Phila- 
delphia, shipping  to  B.  &  B.  Cooper  in  1828  and  to  Jonathan  Palmer  in 
1830  and  1832.  Mr.  Burrell  is  still  in  the  trade, 1  though  over  eighty 
years  of  age,  and  has  shipped  cheese  abroad  every  year  during  the  past 
fifty  years,  his  shipments  in  the  summer  of  1878  being  about  a  thousand 
boxes  a  week.  He  is  among  the  few  American  dealers  who  have 
amassed  a  large  fortune  in  the  trade,  and  by  his  strict  integrity  and  hon- 
est dealing  has  ever  retained  the  confidence  of  dairymen.  He  has  in- 
vested his  means  largely  in  real  estate  from  time  to  time,  and  has  many 
excellent  dairy  farms  in  Herkimer  and  in  other  counties  of  the  State. 
He  has  for  the  past  twenty  years  or  more  resided  at  Little  Falls. 

From  1836  to  i860  several  Herkimer  county  merchants  had  entered 
the  field  as  cheese  buyers,  the  most  notable  of  whom  were  Samuel  Perry, 
of  Newport,  V.  S.  Kenyon,  of  Middleville,  A.  H.  Buel,  of  Fairfield,  Perry 
&  Sweezy,  of  Newport,  Benjamin  Silliman,  of  Salisbury,  Lorenzo  Carryl, 
then  of  Salisbury,  Frederick  and  James  H.  Ives,  Roger  Bamber,  of  Stark, 
Simeon  Osborne,  of  Herkimer,  and  several  others.  Cheese,  during  this 
time,  was  usually  bought  on  long  credits,  the  dealers  going  through  the 
country  and  purchasing  the  entire  lot  of  cheese  made  or  to  be  made 
during  the  season,  advancing  a  small  part  of  the  money,  and  agreeing 
to  pay  the  balance  on  the  first  of  January  following.  Failures  would 
occur  from  time  to  time,  and  the  farmers  selling  to  these  unfortunate 
speculators  not  unfrequently  lost  the  bulk  of  their  labor  for  the  season. 

'  Mr.  Burrell  died  several  years  since,  and  his  business  is  still  carried  on  by  his  sons,  D.H.  and  E. 
S.  Burrell. 


122  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Up  to  1840  the  dairymen  of  Herkimer  bad  made  but  little  improve- 
ment in  farm  buildings  or  in  tlie  appliances  for  the  dairy.  Lands  were 
comparatively  cheap,  and  it  was  no  unusual  thing  for  men  with  little  or 
no  means  to  buy  farms  and  pay  for  them  by  dairying.  About  this  time 
or  a  little  earlier  the  smaller  farms  of  the  county  began  to  be  absorbed 
by  well-to-do  dairymen,  and  the  plan  of  renting  farms,  on  what  is  known 
as  the  "  two- fifths  system,"  began  to  be  adopted.  We  think  Mr.  Burrell 
was  the  first  to  regulate  this  system  of  leasing  in  all  its  details,  and,  having 
quite  a  number  of  farms  to  rent,  he  established  a  uniform  rate  which 
soon  became  a  standard  all  over  the  county  where  dairy  farms  were  to 
be  rented. 

By  1840  farmers  had  become  so  prosperous  from  dairying  that  they 
began  to  pay  more  attention  to  the  care  and  management  of  stock. 
They  not  only  looked  more  closely  to  the  comfort  of  the  herds,  but 
"  milking  barns  "  for  their  own  convenience  and  comfort  began  to  be 
pretty  generally  substituted  for  the  open  yard  in  milking.  About  this 
time,  also,  the  first  dairy  steamer  for  making  cheese  was  brought  out  by 
Mr.  G.  Farmer,  of  Herkimer.  It  consisted  of  a  boiler  for  the  genera- 
tion of  steam,  attached  to  a  stove  or  furnace,  with  a  pipe  for  conveying 
steam  from  the  boiler  to  the  milk- vat,  which  was  of  tin,  surrounded  by 
a  wooden  vat,  on  the  same  principle  as  the  "  milk- vats"  now  in  use.  A 
branch  of  the  steam  pipe  was  connected  with  a  tub  for  heating  water, 
for  washing  utensils,  etc.,  used  in  the  dairy.  This  apparatus,  of  course, 
was  a  crude  affair  compared  with  the  modern,  highly-improved  cheese 
vat  and  steam  boiler,  but  it  was  the  first  invention  of  the  kind,  and  led 
to  grand  results  in  labor-saving  appliances  in  the  dairy  In  about  ten 
years  after  Farmer's  invention,  which  was  extensively  introduced  in 
Herkimer  and  other  counties,  William  G.  Young,  of  Cedarville,  brought 
out  the  steel  curd-knife,  which  was  a  great  improvement  over  the  wire 
and  tin  cutters  that  Mr.  Truman  Cole,  of  Fairfield,  had  invented,  and 
had  got  into  general  use.  The  log  presses  were  also  fast  going  out  of 
use — their  places  being  supplied  by  the  Kendal  press.  The  Taylor  and 
Oysten  presses,  both  invented  by  Herkimer  county  men,  were  further 
improvements  brought  out  between  1850  and  i860. 

From  1850  to  i860  dairying  began  to  assume  formidable  proportions. 
Prices  had  gradually  risen   from    5  cents  to  7  cents,  ftom  7   cents  to  9 


HISTORY  OF  CHEESE  DAIRYING.  123 

cents,  and  the  business  was  considered  more  prosperous  than  any  other 
farm  industry.  During  this  period  the  farmers  of  Herkimer  county  had 
generally  acquired  wealth  or  a  substantial  competence,  and  tliis  was 
shown  in  their  improved  buildings  and  premises. 

In  1857  Mr.  Jesse  Williams,  of  Rome,  Oneida  county  (a  dairyman 
who  had  learned  cheese- making  in  Herkimer),  conceived  the  idea  of  the 
factory  sy.stem,  but  it  did  not  begin  to  attract  much  attention  until  i860, 
when  plans  were  inaugurated  for  testing  the  system  in  Herkimer.  The 
first  factories  were  erected  by  Avery  &  Ives,  of  Salisbury,  and  by  Mr. 
Shell,  of  Russia,  and  were  located  in  the  respective  towns  of  the  builders, 
who  were  also  the  proprietors  of  these  establishments.  The  system  did 
not  spread  so  rapidly  at  first  in  Herkimer  as  it  has  in  some  new  sections, 
because  cheese-making  was  better  understood  by  the  mass  of  farmers 
here  than  elsewhere;  and  the  cheese  of  Herkimer  having  a  high  repu- 
tation in  many  of  the  large  dairies,  the  dairymen  were  at  first  a  little 
doubtful  as  to  the  success  of  the  factories.  They,  however,  soon  wheeled 
into  line,  and  now  the  last  State  census  gives  the  number  of  factories  in 
the  county  in  1874  at  eighty-eight,  aggregating  a  capital  of  $235,070, 
and  paying  out  annually  in  wages  the  sum  of  $48,181. 

The  number  of  cows  in  the  county  whose  milk  was  sent  to  the  facto- 
ries that  year  was  32,372,  and  in  1875  34.070-  The  number  of  patrons 
was  1,303. 

In  i860  Samuel  Perry,  of  New  York,  formerly  of  Herkimer  county, 
attempted  to  control  the  entire  export  product  of  American  dairies.  He 
sent  his  agents  early  in  the  season  throughout  the  whole  dairy  sections 
of  New  York  and  Ohio,  then  the  only  two  States  from  which  cheese 
was  exported,  and  they  contracted  for  him  the  bulk  of  the  farm-dairies 
at  an  average  price  of  from  8  cents  to  10  cents  per  pound. 

The  cheese  was  bought  in  the  usual  way,  on  credit,  a  small  sum  being 
paid  during  the  summer,  while  the  final  settlement  and  payment  were  to 
be  made  in  January. 

Mr.  Perry,  by  offering  a  penny  or  so  per  pound  more  than  other  deal- 
ers believed  the  market  would  warrant,  was  enabled  to  secure  almost 
the  entire  make  of  the  season.  A  great  disaster,  as  is  well  known,  fol- 
lowed this  purchase.  Much  of  the  cheese  was  badly  made  and  badly 
cured,  and  it  became  worthless  in  his  hands.      Sales  could  not  be  made 


124  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COtlNTt. 

in  England  to  cover  cost.  The  approaching  war  caused  troublous  times, 
and  cut  off  our  Southern  trade.  Financial  difficulties  at  the  opening  of 
i86l  were  frequent  and  pressing,  and  the  great  merchant  in  a  large 
number  of  cases  could  not  meet  his  engagements,  and  many  dairymen 
remained  unpaid.  The  lesson  was  a  severe  one  to  all  concerned,  but  it 
was  useful  in  this — that  ever  afterwards  dairymen  in  Herkimer  have  been 
cautious  in  selling  on  long  credits,  while  no  one  dealer,  single  handed, 
has  since  that  time  attempted  to  control  a  product  which  from  its  mag- 
nitude is  beyond  the  grasp  of  one  man's  means  and  resources. 

It  is  perhaps  justice  to  Mr.  Perry  to  say  that  he  battled  manfidly 
against  the  adverse  turn  in  trade,  and  had  it  not  been  for  the  breaking 
out  of  the  war  would  doubtless  have  met  all  his  liabilities,  though  of 
course  at  a  fearful  loss. 

The  Cheese  Market  at  Little  Falls. — The  following  year,  i86l,  dairy- 
men and  dealers  began  to  meet  at  Little  Falls  on  certain  days  of  the 
week  for  the  purpose  of  making  transactions  in  cheese.  There  was  a 
large  number  of  home  dealers,  some  of  them  acting  as  agents  for  New 
York,  Philadelphia  and  Baltimore  houses,  while  others  were  seeking 
transactions  on  their  own  account.  The  fact,  I  think,  that  so  many 
dairymen  had  lost  money  the  previous  year,  and  the  desire  on  their 
part  to  sell  for  cash  or  on  short  credits,  helped  to  start  "  sales  day,"  or 
a  public  market  at  Little  Falls.  Dairymen  commenced  in  the  spring 
to  bring  small  parcels  of  cheese  into  town  on  Mondays,  offering  it  for 
sale  to  resident  dealers,  and  transactions  were  readily  made.  The  buy- 
ers soon  learned  that  it  was  easier  to  test  samples  from  the  different 
dairies  as  they  were  brought  to  market  than  to  make  a  special  journey 
over  bad  country  roads  to  look  at  cheese  which  they  were  not  certain 
could  be  bought  at  market  rates.  It  is  quite  different,  they  argued, 
whether  the  cheese  is  brought  to  town  or  lies  on  the  shelf.  When  a 
dairyman  brings  his  goods  to  market  he  is  ready  to  sell.  If  the  cheese 
is  on  the  shelf  in  his  curing  room  he  may  not  be  ready  until  he  has  in- 
quired as  to  the  market,  or  seen  some  particular  buyer.  The  seller,  on 
the  other  hand,  found  an  advantage  in  bringing  his  goods  to  town,  be- 
cause he  could  show  them  to  different  buyers,  and  thus  get  a  greater 
number  of  bids  than  he  would  be  likely  to  obtain  if  his  product  remained 
in  his  dairy  house.     So,  by  mutual  consent,  each  party,  seeing  an  ad- 


HISTORY  OF  CHEESE  DAIRYING.  125 

vantage  in  it,  embraced  the  plan,  and  "  market  days"  for  the  sale  of 
dairy  products  at  Little  Falls  were  inaugurated.  At  first  two  days  in 
the  week,  Mondays  and  Wednesdays,  were  agreed  upon,  and  the  plan 
worked  well  and  was  satisfactory  to  all  concerned.  Soon  dealers  from 
New  York  and  other  cities  began  to  visit  the  market,  making  such  se- 
lections as  desired,  while  the  dairymen,  selling  for  cash  and  meeting 
with  buyers  who  were  ready  to  compete  for  their  goods,  were  so  pleased 
with  the  arrangement  that  they  did  not  care  to  dispose  of  their  cheese 
in  any  other  way. 

On  some  market  days  previous  to  1864  hundreds  of  farmers  have 
been  in  the  streets  near  the  railway  depot,  each  with  his  wagon  loaded 
with  cheese  boxed  and  marked  with  his  name  ;  while  some  twenty  or 
more  buyers  were  scattered  among  them  and  passsing  from  wagon  to 
wagon.  Some  from  New  York,  Philadelphia,  Boston,  Baltimore  and 
other  cities,  with  an  occasional  shipper  from  England,  could  be  seen  ex- 
amining, boring,  tasting,  smelling  and  making  bids  for  the  loads. 

In  1864  the  first  weekly  reports  of  the  Little  Falls  market,  then  and 
now  the  largest  interior  dairy  market  in  the  world,  began  to  be  made 
by  the  writer  in  the  Utica  Morning  Herald.  Previous  to  1864  farmers 
relied  on  cit)'  quotations,  which  were  sometimes  thought  to  be  in  the 
merchants'  favor.  Indeed  so  sharp  was  tne  competition  at  Little  Falls 
that  the  prices  paid  at  this  market  every  week  were  not  unfrequently 
above  New  York  quotations,  and  dairymen  from  other  sections  sought 
eagerly  for  these  reports  before  selling.  The  factories  also  were  sending 
their  salesmen  on  the  market  not  only  from  Herkimer,  but  from  the 
adjoining  counties,  the  "  sales  day"  now  being  on  Monday  only  of  each 
week.  From  1864  to  1870  the  Little  Falls  cheese  market  had  acquired 
so  high  a  reputation  that  it  was  considered  the  center  of  the  trade  in 
America,  and  its  weekly  transactions  had  a  controlling  influence  in 
establishing  prices  at  the  seaboard.  Reports  of  the  market  at  its  close 
were  telegraphed  not  only  to  parties  engaged  in  the  trade  in  our  lead- 
ing cities,  but  to  the  great  cheese  centers  of  Liverpool  and  London. 
During  this  time,  besides  a  great  number  of  farm-dairymen  attending 
the  market  weekly,  salesmen  from  three  hundred  factories  have  some- 
times been  present,  while  the  regular  list  of  factories  doing  business  in 
the  market  numbered  about  two  hundred.     The  quantity  of  cheese  an- 


126  BISTORT  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

nually  sold  on  the  market  has  been  estimated  at  25,000,000  to  30,000,- 
000  pounds,  but  the  actual  shipment  of  dairy  produce  from  the  county 
was  considerably  less,  as  the  factories,  after  selling  their  goods  by  sam- 
ple, shipped  them  at  the  railroad  depots  nearest  the  factory. 

The  following  table,  made  up  from  records  kept  at  the  railroad  and 
canal  freight  depots  within  the  limits  of  Herkimer  county,  will  siiow 
the  surplus  make  of  butter  and  cheese  in  Herkimer  county  during  the 
time  referred  to.  The  quantity  consumed  in  the  county  is  not  known, 
but  if  added  would  make  the  product  much  larger: 

CHEESE,  PonNDS.  HUTTER,  POUNDS. 

1864 16,767,999  492,673 

1865 16,808,352  313,756 

1866 18,172,913  232,961 

1867   16,772,031  204,385 

1868..    15,734,920  341,632 

1869 15,570,487  204,634 

Up  to  1 87 1  the  cheese  and  butter  market  at  Little  Falls  had  been 
held  for  the  most  part  in  the  open  street,  but  early  in  January  of  that 
year  steps  were  taken  to  organize  a  Dairy  Board  of  Trade  for  the  State, 
with  headquarters  at  Little  Falls, — that  being  then  the  chief  and  only 
interior  dairy  market  in  the  country.  In  pursuance  of  this  resolution  a 
call  for  a  public  meeting  at  Little  Falls  in  February  was  made,  and 
widely  circulated  through  the  newspapers  of  the  State.  The  meeting 
was  largely  attended  by  leading  dairymen  and  others  from  different 
parts  of  the  State,  and  Judge  George  A.  Hardin  was  called  to  the  chair, 
when  an  association  was  formed  under  the  name  of  "The  New  York 
State  Dairymen's  Association  and  Board  of  Trade." 

This  was  the  first  "  Dairymen's  Board  of  Trade  "  organized  on  the 
continent,  and  soon  after  publishing  and  sending  out  circulars  giving 
the  plan  for  organizing  such  boards,  other  parts  of  the  country  started 
similar  associations,  Elgin,  III,  being  first  to  follow,  and  then  Utica, 
N.  Y.  The  plan  spread  rapidly  through  the  dairy  sections  of  this  State 
and  in  other  States,  and  now  many  dairy  centers  in  different  States  and 
Canada  have  their  dairy  boards  of  trade  at  which  merchants  and  sel- 
lers meet  on  regular  market  days  for  the  transaction  of  business  in 
dairy  goods.  The  telegraph  is  here  brought  into  requisition,  and  sellers 
go  upon  the  market  knowing  something  of  the  demand  and   the  price 


HISTORY  OF  CHEESE  DAIRYING.  127 

on  both  sides  of  the  Atlantic.  At  the  interior  markets  competition 
always  runs  high,  and  merchants  sometimes  complain  tiiat  margins  are 
narrow  and  money  not  so  easily  made  as  when  the  goods  were  bought 
at  the  factory  on  city  quotations.  Be  this  as  it  may,  the  dairymen 
now  have  a  sort  of  commercial  education.  They  study  the  markets, 
home  and  foreign,  and  they  judge  when  it  is  best  to  realize  on  their 
goods. 

The  first  officers  chosen  by  "The  New  York  State  Dairymen's  Asso- 
ciation and  Board  of  Trade  "  were  :  X.  A.  Willard,  president ;  Watts  T. 
Loomis,  recording  secretary;  Josiah  ShuU,  corresponding  secretary; 
David  H.  Burrell,  treasurer;  with  six  directors,  all  of  whom  the  consti- 
tution provides  shall  be  elected  annually.  The  annual  meetings  of  the 
society  occur  in  February  of  each  year  at  Little  Falls,  though  conven- 
tions are  held  during  the  winter  in  different  parts  of  the  State  ;  they 
have  been  held  at  Little  Falls  ;  Sinclairville,  Chautauqua  county  ;  at 
Binghamton,  Broome  county;  at  Norwich,  Chenango  county;  at 
Elmira,  Chemung  county;  two  or  more  at  Utica,  Oneida  county;  and 
others  elsewhere.  These  conventions  have  been  very  largely  attended, 
and  have  done  an  important  work  in  aiding  the  progress  of  dairy- 
husbandry  in  the  State. 

Soon  after  the  organization  of  the  society,  the  citizens  of  Little  Falls 
with  commendable  liberality  contributed  several  hundred  dollars  for  the 
erection  and  fitting  up  of  a  board  of  trade  room,  and  it  was  completed 
in  good  style  under  the  supervision  of  J.  W.  Cronkhite,-of  Little  Fatts: 

When  we  consider  that  the  annual  product  of  cheese  in  America  now 
amounts  to  350,000,000  pounds,  of  which  130,000,000  pounds  are  an- 
nually exported,  while  the  annual  butter  crop  is  not  far  from  1,000,- 
000,000  pounds,  all  must  admit  that  Herkimer  county  has  a  record  in 
the  history  of  dairying  of  which  her  citizens  may  well  be  proud.  Mr. 
Moulton,  in  his  recent  address  at  the  international  dairy  fair  at  New 
York,  December  7,  1878,  stated  that  within  the  last  twenty  years  the 
export  of  cheese  alone  has  been  1,163,000,000  pounds;  and  the  total 
value  of  exported  butter  and  cheese  during  the  same  time  was  $185,- 
000,000.  During  the  last  ten  years  885,000,000  pounds  of  cheese  have 
been  shipped  abroad.  Nearly  all  the  factory  cheese  made  in  Herkimer 
county  goes  to  England,  and  many  of  our  factories  have  a  deservedly 


128  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

high  reputation  among  Engh'sh  shippers  for  the  style  and  fine  quality 
of  their  goods. 

Many  of  the  factories,  like  Old  Fairfield,  Newville,  Eatonsville,  Man- 
heim,  Middleville,  Grain's  Corners,  the  Newport  factories,  managed  by 
Mr.  Babcock,  some  of  the  Winfield  factories  and  others  in  the  various 
towns  throughout  the  county,  are  so  well  known  abroad  for  the  excel- 
lence of  their  product  that  orders  are  often  sent  from  England  to  agents 
here  to  secure  the  weekly  shipments. 

Butter-making  has  never  been  extensively  practiced  as  a  specialty  in 
Herkimer  county,  although  considerable  quantities  of  butter  are  made 
in  the  spring  and  fall  in  connection  with  cheese  manufacture.  The  usual 
plan,  in  these  seasons,  when  milk  is  delivered  at  the  factories,  is  to  allow 
farmers  to  skim  one  day's  milk,  or  the  night  mess  of  milk,  and  then  de- 
liver the  skimmed  milk.  In  farm  dairies  the  milk  is  set  for  a  longer  or 
shorter  period,  and  the  skimmed  milk  made  into  cheese.  But  this 
practice  obtains  for  tiie  most  part  only  in  spring  and  fall,  while  some 
of  the  factories  will  not  allow  any  skimming,  believing  that  a  high  repu- 
tation can  only  be  maintained  by  manufacturing  at  all  times  nothing 
but  "  full-milk  cheese."  A  few  creameries  have  from  time  to  time  been 
operated  in  the  county.  Among  the  earliest  establishments  of  this 
kind  may  be  named  the  Car  Creamery,  of  Salisbury ;  the  Nichols,  of 
Norway ;  the  Barto  Hill  and  North  Fairfield,  and  the  Whitman  & 
Burrell  factory,  near  Little  Falls. 


Since  the  foregoing  paper  was  written  but  few  changes  have  taken 
place  in  cheese- dairying  in  Herkimer  county.  The  annual  production  of 
dairy  products  shows  slight  fluctuations  from  year  to  year  but  has  neither 
materially  increased  nor  decreased.  The  changes  which  have  occurred 
have  been  mostly  along  the  line  of  advanced  methods  in  manufacture, 
the  introduction  of  improved  machinery  into  cheese  and  butter  factories 
and  of  better  blood  into  dairy  herds.  The  machine  recently  invented 
by  Dr.  Babcock,  of  the  Wisconsin  l^xperiment  Station,  Madison,  Wis., 
for  testing  milk  to  determine  the  amount  of  its  butter  fats,  is  now  in  use 
in  some  creameries  and  factories,  while  the  separator  is  quite  extensively 
employed  in  the  manufacture  of  butter. 


HISTORY  OF  CHEESE  DAIRYING. 


Dairymen  are  giving  more  attention  to  means  for  increasing  the  capac- 
ity of  their  herds,  both  with  regard  to  production  and  quaHty  of  milk. 
The  introduction  of  full-blooded  males  of  the  Holstein  Friesian,  Jersey 
and  Guernsey  breeds,  for  the  accomplishment  of  this  end,  is  conse- 
quently receiving  considerable  attention,  which,  with  better  care  and 
management,  is  gradually  improving  the  average  of  the  dairy  cows  of 
the  county.  The  silo,  too,  is  beginning  to  command  attention  from 
the  most  progressive  dairy  farmers,  a  dozen  or  more  being  in  successful 
operation  in  different  localities  in  the  county.  A  movement  is  also  be- 
ing made  in  the  direction  of  winter  dairying,  which  bids  fair  to  add  new 
impetus  to  this  already  important  and  prosperous  industry. 

With  regard  to  the  cheese  market  at  Little  Falls  :  While  there  has  been 
no  material  increase  or  decrease  in  the  annual  transactions  since  1878, 
yet  very  much  less  cheese  is  being  sold  for  shipment  abroad,  fully  three- 
fifths  of  the  product  manufactured  in  1892  having  been  purchased  for 
home  consumption.  It  is  gratifying  to  note  that  the  demand  from  this 
source  is  steadily  increasing  and  that,  without  doubt,  in  a  few  years  all 
the  cheese  made  in  the  county  will  find  an  outlet  through  home  mar- 
kets. 

The  importance  of  the  dairy  industry  in  Herkimer  county  will  be 
better  appreciated  by  consulting  the  following  table  showing  the  trans- 
actions of  the  Little  Falls  market  for  1892,  and  also  comparative  sta- 
tistics with  other  years : 


April  25 

May  2... 
9__. 
16.... 
23 

June  6.. 
13.-., 

27..., 
July  4- 


TOTAL.        LOW.      RULING.     AVERAGE.     HIGH.      DAIRY 


6,189 
6,657 
7,184 
8,095 

28,12s 


6,175 

1,115 

948 

1.569 

588 

742 

845 

722 
580 

2,898 

8« 
8 

8« 
8>i 


HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 


September  5- 


October  3. 


November  7. 


7,768 
7.700 
6.60s 
6.7og 
7.-78 

35.960 


5«04 

26,888 

5.035 
6,770 
6.9^5 
7.301 
5.987 

32.088 


5.172 


RULING.    AVERAGE. 


603 
.,670 


28 I        6.136 

21.844 
Total I   182,785 


7.086 
7.049 
7.781 


'9.635 

S,8i2 
7.350 
7.278 
7.983 
6.547 

34.970 

5,089 
6.397 
5,522 

23.534 

206,058 


9% 

9H 


Total  number  of  boxes 

Number  of  pounds  per  box. 


Number  of  pounds  sold,. 
Average  price  per  pound. 


Value  of  season's  cheese. _. 
Add  value  of  dairy  cheese. 


()76 
'780 


.0915 


Total  value.- -J _. $1,918,662.88 

Comparing  this  result   with   thai  of  the  two   previous  years,  the  fol- 
lowing differences  will  appear  : 


Number  of  boxes  sold,  including  dairy 345*059 

Highest  price.-- - .-_        loc.^. 

Lowest  price - _ 6c'i. 

Average  high  for  year ___       .0873 

Average  low  for  year -0793 

General  average _ 0836 

Value  of  cheese  in  1890 - - 

Value  of  cheese  in  1891  

Value  of  cheese  in  1892 - -- ._. 

Difference  in  favor  of  1892 __ - ,_. 


1891 

230,249 

7?ic. 
.0914 
•0845 


,181,836.65 
202,738.70 
218,662.88 
■5.924.1? 


THE  COURTS.  131 

CHAPTER   VIII. 

THE  COURTS,  THE  BENCH  AND  BAR  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

ALTHOUGH  as  a  distinct  county  our  records  are  comparatively  re- 
cent, the  early  history  of  the  Bench  and  Bar  of  Herkimer  county 
takes  us  back  to  judicial  systems  very  different  from  those  with  which  ue 
are  now  familiar  and  very  similar  to  those  of  England.  For  the  British 
governors  after  the  peace  of  Westminster  introduced  such  of  the  courts 
of  the  mother  country  from  time  to  time  as  seemed  adapted  to  the  new 
colonies;  and  although  our  constitution  of  1777  abolished  such  as  were 
hostile  to  the  democratic  sentiments  of  the  new  era,  it  preserved  with 
considerable  entirety  the  legal  fictions  and  the  judicial  systems  of  its 
inheritance.  It  was  thus  that  the  new  county  of  Herkimer  found  in 
existence  such  courts  as  the  Common  Pleas,  Chancery,  Court  of  Pro- 
bate, Court  for  the  Trial  of  Impeachments  and  the  Correction  of  Errors, 
and  others  long  since  abolished  or  merged  in  those  of  the  present  day. 
The  old  Assizes  had  already  passed  away  and  the  Federal  constitution 
had  taken  from  the  State  the  Court  of  Admiralty  ;  but  most  of  those 
mentioned  above  still  attested  our  early  relations  with  the  complex 
system  of  England. 

During  the  exciting  times  succeeding  the  administration  of  the 
tyrannical  Governor  Andros,  and  just  after  the  execution  of  Leisler  and 
the  arrival  of  Governor  Slaughter,  and  while  the  charter  of  liberties 
was  agitating  our  colony,  the  Court  for  the  Correction  of  Errors  and 
hearing  of  appeals  was  established.  It  consisted  of  the  Governor  and 
Council,  its  powers  resembling  those  of  our  present  court  of  final  resort. 
The  Revolution  necessitated  a  change  which  gave  rise  to  the  Court  for 
the  Trial  of  Impeachments  and  the  Correction  of  Errors.  The  consti- 
tution of  1846  which  made  so  many  changes  in  our  judicial  system, 
entirely  remodeled  this  court.  It  divided  it,  in  fact,  creating  the  Court 
of  Appeals  in  place  of  the  Court  for  the  Correction  of  Errors,  and 
leaving   the   Court  for  Trial    of  Impeachments  still  composed  of  the 


132  IIISTOHV  Ob'  HKKKIMER  COUNTY. 

Senate  and  its  president,  togetlier  with  the  judges  of  the  new  court. 
The  convention  of  1867—68  reorganized  the  Court  of  Appeals,  and  in 
1869  the  people  ratified  the  change,  which  resulted  in  the  present  court 
of  final  resort. 

On  account  of  the  great  mass  of  accumulated  business,  a  Commission 
of  Appeals  was  created  in  1870,  continuing  until  1875,  possessing  sub- 
stantially the  powers  of  its  sister  court, , and  designed  to  relieve  the 
latter.  In  1888  the  Legislature  passed  a  concurrent  resolution  that 
section  6  of  article  6  of  the  constitution  be  amended  so  that  upon  the 
certificate  of  the  Court  of  Appeals  to  the  governor  of  such  an  accumu- 
lation of  causes  on  the  calendar  ot  the  Court  of  Appeals  that  the  public 
interest  required  a  more  speedy  disposition  thereof,  the  governor  may 
designate  seven  justices  of  the  Supreme  Court  to  act  as  associate  judges 
for  the  time  being  of  the  Court  of  Appeals,  and  to  form  a  second 
division  of  that  court,  and  to  be  dissolved  by  the  governor  when  the 
said  causes  are  substantially  disposed  of  This  amendment  was  sub- 
mitted to  the  people  of  the  State  at  the  general  election  of  that  year 
and  was  ratified,  and  in  accordance  therewith  the  governor  selected 
seven  Supreme  Court  justices,  who  were  constituted  the  second  division 
of  the  Court  of  Appeals. 

The  Supreme  Court's  jurisdiction  as  it  now  exists  is  a  combination 
of  very  diverse  elements.  The  powers  and  jurisdictions  of  the  Court 
of  Chancery,  the  Court  of  Exchequer,  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas,  the 
Court  of  Oyer  and  Terminer,  Probate  Court,  the  Circuit  Court  and  the 
Supreme  Court  proper,  have  all  been  combined  to  make  up  this  im- 
portant branch  of  the  judicial  system.  But  during  our  early  county 
history  several  of  these  courts  existed  independently  of  each  other, 
some  of  the  early  lawyers  of  Herkimer  county  being  among  their  mem- 
bers. The  Court  of  Chancery,  which  had  been  organized  when  the 
Court  of  Assizes  was  abolished,  in  1683,  was  the  beginning  of  the 
equity  branch  of  the  present  Supreme  Court.  It  was  reorganized 
shortly  after  the  Revolution  and,  with  some  slight  modifications  by  the 
constitution  of  1821,  and  by  subsequent  enactments,  it  continued  until 
1846,  when  it  was  merged  into  the  new  Supreme  Court.  Equity 
jurisdiction  and  powers  are  now  exercised  by  the  Supreme  Court,  its 
judges  having  powers  that  were  formerly  possessed  by  the  chancellor. 


THE  COURTS,  1^3 

The  Court  of  Exchequer,  having  been  erected  in  1685,  was  made  a 
branch  of  the  old  Supreme  Court  just  after  the  Revolution,  and  so  con- 
tinued until  finally  abolished  in  1830.  In  our  earliest  colonial  history 
there  had  been  a  Court  of  Oyer  and  Terminer,  but  it  was  discontinued 
during  the  time  of  King  William,  its  name,  however,  surviving  to 
designate  the  criminal  part  held  with  the  circuit.  This  brings  us  to  the 
old  Supreme  and  Circuit  Court,  with  which  the  Court  of  Chancery 
united  under  the  constitution  of  1846,  to  complete  the  principal  branch 
of  our  present  system.  In  the  early  part  of  the  century  the  Supreme 
Court  of  the  State  consisted  of  five  justices.  It  had  been  the  practice 
to  hold  four  terms  a  year,  two  in  Albany  and  two  in  New  York  ;  but 
previous  to  that  time  and  in  the  closing  years  of  the  last  century,  the 
circuit  system  was  established  somewhat  on  the  plan  of  that  of  Eng- 
land. It  was  enacted  that  the  judges  should,  during  their  vacations, 
hold  courts  in  the  various  counties  of  the  State,  and  return  the  pro- 
ceedings to  the  Supreme  Court  when  it  convened  again,  when  they 
should  be  recorded  and  judgments  rendered.  A  few  years  later  the 
system  was  simplified  by  the  division  of  the  State  into  four  judicial 
districts.  To  each  of  these  districts  was  assigned  a  judge  whose  duty 
it  was  to  hold  circuits  in  each  of  the  counties  therein  at  least  once  in 
each  year.  It  had  already  been  enacted  that  the  Courts  of  Oyer  and 
Terminer  (the  criminal  part,  presided  over  by  a  Justice  of  the  Supreme 
Court)  should  be  held  at  the  same  time  and  place  with  the  circuit, 
and  should  consist  of  the  circuit  judge,  assisted  by  two  or  more  of 
the  judges  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  of  the  county.  The  circuit 
system  was  very  similar  to  the  present,  excepting  that  our  Special 
Terms   are  substituted  for  the  Court  of  Chancery. 

After  the  constitution  of  1821,  the  State  was  divided  as  at  present 
into  eight  judicial  districts,  each  being  provided  with  a  circuit  judge, 
in  whom  were  vested  certain  equity  powers,  subject  to  appeal  to  the 
Chancery  Court;  while  the  Supreme  Court  proper  held  much  the  same 
position  as  the  present  General  Term.  In  1846  the  new  constitution 
abolished  the  Court  of  Chancery,  giving  the  powers  theretofore  held  by 
it  to  the  Supreme  Court,  which  it  reorganized  substantially  as  it  exists 
to-day.  Such  is  the  history  in  brief  of  the  higher  courts  of  this  county 
and  State. 


134  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

The  system  of  local  judicature  was  also  changed  to  correspond  with 
that  of  the  State  at  large.  The  Court  of  Common  Pleas,  organized 
contemporaneously  with  the  colonial  Court  for  the  Correction  of  Errors 
and  Appeals,  has  given  way  to  the  County  Court;  while  the  offices  of 
county  judge  and  surrogate  have  been  combined  where  the  county  pop- 
ulation does  not  exceed  forty  thousand  During  the  eighteenth  century 
the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  consisted  of  a  first  judge  assisted  by  two  or 
more  associates,  all  of  whom  were  appointed  by  the  governor.  Its 
powers  were  very  similar  to  those  of  the  present  County  Court,  the 
associate  justices  corresponding  to  the  justices  of  sessions  on  the  present 
criminal  bench.  The  constitution  of  1846  abolished  the  Court  of  Com- 
mon Pleas  and  created  the  County  Court  and  Court  of  Sessions  as  they 
exist  to-day. 

The  Surrogate's  Court  has  undergone  less  changes  than  any  of  those 
we  have  described.  In  early  times  and  before  the  Dutch  supremacy 
was  overcome  by  the  English,  there  had  been  a  short-lived  Orphan's 
Court.  Then  the  English  government  introduced  the  Prerogative  Court, 
which  in  turn  was  superseded  by  the  Court  of  Probates  after  the  Rev- 
olution. Surrogates  were  then  appointed  in  each  county,  having  much 
the  same  powers  as  at  present.  This  was  the  system  down  to  1823, 
when  the  Court  of  Chancery  took  the  place  of  the  Court  of  Probates  in 
hearing  appeals  from  the  decisions  of  surrogates  ;  but  the  office  of  sur- 
rogate remained  as  before. 

Our  Justices'  Courts  and  Courts  of  Special  Sessions  have  remained 
substantially  unchanged  since  the  colonial  period.  The  office  of  dis- 
trict attorney  has  undergone  much  change.  Early  in  the  century  this 
State  was  divided  into  seven  districts  for  each  of  which  there  was  an 
assistant  attorney-general.  The  present  office,  as  distinct  from  the  at- 
torney-generalship, was  created  in  1801.  Since  18  18  each  county  has 
had  its  own  district  attorney. 

Previous  to  the  erection  of  Herkimer  county  in  1 791,  the  judicial 
afifairs  of  the  people  where  conducted  at  Whitestown  in  what  is  now 
Oneida  county,  and  there  the  court-house  and  jail  were  situated.  Upon 
the  division  of  the  county  the  records  were  kept  by  Oneida  county. 
The  proceedings  of  the  Board  of  Supervisors  for  1795  contain  a  record 
of  the  steps  taken  for  the  erection  of  the  public  buildings  at  Whitestown. 


COUNTY  BUILDINGS.  135 

The  committee  having  the  work  in  charge  made  a  report  which   con- 
tained the  following : 

The  committee  proceeded  to  make  the  apportionment,  as  follows,  for  the  respective 
towns  to  pay,  viz.:  Herkimer,  140;  German  Flats,  185;  Norway,  95;  Steuben,  PO; 
Whites  (Whitestown)  150;  Schuyler,  90;  Brookfielil,  23 ;  Oazenovia,  30 ;  Sauferfield, 
20;  Hamilton,  22;  Sherburn,  15;   Westmoreland,  60 ;   Paris,  120. 

The  buildings  at  Whitestown  were  erected  in  1793-4  and  were  used 
until  Oneida  county  was  taken  from  Herkimer  in  1798. 

The  first  court  house  for  the  use  of  the  present  Herkimer  county 
stood  on  the  site  of  the  one  now  located  at  Herkimer  village,  and  was  a 
plain  two-story  wooden  building.  It  stood  until  January  25,  1S34, 
when  it  was  burned  with  other  property  near  it.  It  was  a  fortunate  fire, 
for  the  building  was  a  discredit  to  the  community  and  of  very  little 
actual  value.  The  jail,  which  was  on  the  ground  floor,  would  not  con- 
fine a  prisoner,  unless  he  was  a  paralytic,  and  no  one  mourned  its  loss. 

On  the  31st  of  March,  1834,  the  Legislature  authorized  the  super- 
visors to  borrow  from  the  common  school  fund,  on  the  credit  of  the 
county,  $4,600  with  which  to  build  a  new  court-house,  and  directed 
that  a  tax  of  $500  a  year  be  levied  on  the  county  to  pay  the  loan. 
Francis  E.  Spinner,  Arphaxed  Loomis,  and  Prentice  Yeomans  were 
named  in  the  act  as  commissioners  to  superintend  the  erection  of  the 
building.  The  building  was  of  brick  and  sufficed  for  the  needs  of  the 
county  for  about  forty  years.  When  the  erection  of  this  building  was 
contemplated  an  effort  was  made  by  citizens  of  Little  Falls  and  vicinity 
to  have  the  county  seat  removed  to  that  place;  but  the  effort  was  un- 
availing. 

In  the  year  1873  the  present  court-house  was  built  on  the  site  of  the 
old  one,  which  was  taken  down.  The  new  structure  was  designed  to 
accommodate  the  increasing  business  of  the  county,  and  it  is  admirably 
adapted  for  the  purpose.  It  contains  offices  for  the  judges  and  surro- 
gate, rooms  for  the  supervisors,  etc.,  and  cost  $45,000. 

The  jail,  on  the  opposite  corner  from  the  court-house,  was  erected 
after  the  burning  of  the  old  court-house  and  finished  in  1835,  at  a  cost 
of  $10,300.  It  is  a  substantial  building  and  convenient  for  its  purpose. 
Edmund  Varney,  Cornelius  T.  E.  Van  Horn,  Isaac  S.  Ford,  Jacob  F. 
Christman,  Warner  Folts,  Frederick  P.  Bellinger  and  Charles  Gray  were 
the  building  commissioners.  , 


136  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

The  county  clerk's  office  stands  in  the  same  grounds  with  the  court- 
house, and  is  a  substantial  fire-proof  structure.  It  was  erected  in  1847 
by  Aaron  Hall. 

Among  the  members  of  the  bar  of  Herkimer  county  have  been  and 
now  are  many  men  of  eminence  in  their  profession.  It  is  peculiarly 
appropriate  that  those  whose  attainments  and  public  life  are  worthy  of 
remembrance  should  receive  recognition  in  a  history  of  this  county. 
Among  the  very  early  judges  in  the  courts  of  the  county  were  some 
who  have  already  been  properly  mentioned  in  these  pages,  notably 
Judge  Henri  Staring,  of  Schuyler.  Another,  who  was  for  many  years 
a  justice  of  the  peace,  was  Sherman  Wooster,  of  Newport.  He  was 
also  appointed  one  of  the  judges  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  in 
April,  1828,  held  the  office  one  term  and  declined  a  reappointment.  In 
1822  he  was  elected  to  the  State  Senate,  and  made  for  himself  an  ex- 
cellent record  during  a  very  stormy  session.  In  1832  he  was  elected 
to  the  Assembly.  In  these  various  offices  Mr.  Wooster  exhibited  ster- 
ling qualities  and  more  than  average  ability.      He  died    in  Newport  in 

1833- 

Evans  Wharry  filled  a  prominent  place  in  the  early  history  of  the 
county  at  the  close  of  the  war  in  1783.  He  was  a  native  of  Orange 
county,  N.  Y.,  and  took  an  active  part  in  the  Revolution.  He  settled 
in  this  county  in  1785-6,  and  purchased  a  tract  of  land,  which  em- 
braced the  home  where  he  died,  near  Little  Falls.  This  home  is  now 
known  as  the  X.  A.  Willard  farm  and  is  still  occupied  by  his  descendants. 
He  was  a  practical  surveyor  and  was  much  engaged  in  that  occupation. 
He  was  appointed  one  of  the  judges  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas 
and  a  justice  of  the  peace  in  1798,  and  held  those  offices  until  1805, 
when  he  was  commissioned  first  judge,  on  the  resignation  of  John 
Meyer.  Under  this  appointment  Judge  Wharry  held  the  office  until  he 
was  sixty  years  old,  the  then  constitutional  limit.  He  was  elected  to 
the  Assembly  in  1800,  and  was  one  of  the  delegates  from  this  county 
to  the  convention  called  by  the  Legislature  in  1801.  He  was  again 
elected  to  the  Assembly  in  1803  and  1804.  He  was  an  active  and  suc- 
cessful politician,  and  during  the  Revolution  was  a  personal  acquaintance 
of  Washington,  Hamilton,  Burr,  and  other  distinguished  leaders.  He 
served  his  country  well  and  faithfully,  and  died  in  1831,  at  his  home  in 
the  town  of  Little  Falls. 


£!.^/d 


Cc3_ 


BBN-CH  AND  BAR.  137 

Edmund  Varney  came  to  the  town  of  Russia  in  1809,  when  it  was 
a  wilderness  and  became  a  successful  farmer.  He  was  born  in  Dutchess 
county  in  1778.  In  1812  he  was  appointed  a  justice  of  the  peace,  which 
office  he  held  twenty- five  successive  years  ;  was  clerk  of  the  town  many 
years,  and  five  years  one  of  the  judges  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas, 
after  1823.  He  was  also  supervisor  five  years,  master  in  chancery,  etc. 
In  1825  he  was  elected  to  the  Assembly,  and  in  1841  to  the  State  Sen- 
ate from  the  fourth  district.  Elevated  in  principle,  and  urbane  in 
manner,  he  secured  the  respect  and  confidence  of  his  associates  and  of 
the  community.      He  died  in  Russia  December  2,  1847. 

In  our  history  of  Fairfield  may  be  found  some  account  of  Nathan 
Smith,  a  pioneer  of  that  town  in  1790.  He  was  a  merchant,  in  con- 
nection with  his  brothers  William  and  Samuel,  and  became  a  suc- 
cessful and  prominent  politician.  In  1798  he  was  in  the  Legislature, 
and  again  in  1801  and  1802,  He  was  appointed  a  judge  of  the  Court 
of  Common  Pleas  and  justice  of  the  peace  in  March,  1805,  and  in  1808 
and  181 1.  He  was  chosen  a  senator  in  1805  and  held  the  office  two 
full  terms,  by  a  re-election.  In  1808  he  was  chosen  as  one  of  the 
council  of  appointment.  During  his  incumbency  in  the  Senate  impor- 
tant legislation  relating  to  the  banks,  as  well  as  other  matters,  was  en- 
acted, and  Judge  Smith  demonstrated  therein  his  fitness  and  ability  as 
a  legislator.  After  the  close  of  his  senatorial  term  he  was  appointed, 
in  1 8 14,  first  judge  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas,  and  resigned  in  1 821. 
He  died  at  Fairfield  October  7,  1836,  aged  sixty- seven  years. 

George  Rosecrantz  was  a  son  of  Rev.  Abraham  Rosecrantz,  the  noted 
early  German  preacher.  He  was  born  on  Fall  Hill  March  15,  1764, 
and  died  December  21,  1838,  at  the  place  of  his  birth.  At  the  age  of 
thirty-five  he  was  chosen  to  the  State  convention  with  Evans  Wharry 
and  Matthias  B.  Tallmadge  (1801)  and  in  1805  was  appointed  judge  of 
the  Court  of  Common  Pleas,  which  office  he  held  until  1821.  In  1812 
he  was  appointed  by  the  Legislature  one  of  the  electors,  and  voted  for 
De  Witt  Clinton.  He  was  member  of  Assembly  from  the  county  in 
1817  and  18 1 8,  and  was  chosen  State  senator  in  the  spring  of  181 8. 
He  possessed  sound  sense  and  discriminating  judgment,  and  was  indus- 
trious and  diligent  in  his  official  duties. 

Jacob  Marke!!,  of  Manheim,  born  in  Schenectady  May  8,  1770,  oc- 
cupied a   position   on   the  county  bench.     While   Manheim  was  still  a 


138  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

part  of  Montgomery  county  he  was  made  judge  of  the  Court  of  Com- 
mon Pleas  and  was  elected  to  Congress  during  the  war  of  i8l2.  He 
was  elected  to  the  Assembly  from  Herkimer  county  in  1819.  He 
"  was  very  methodical  in  all  his  business  affairs,  and  with  other  qualities 
possessed  a  shrewd  and  intelligent  mind  which,  from  long  practice,  had 
become  considerably  imbued  witii  legal  principles."  He  died  in  Man- 
heim  November  26,  1852. 

Sanders  Lansing  was  born  in  Albany  June  17,  1766,  and  was  the 
youngest  of  four  brothers.  Educated  to  the  legal  profession,  he  re- 
moved to  this  county  with  his  family  in  1820  and  settled  at  Little 
Falls  He  was  chosen  delegate  to  the  convention  of  1821  with  Sher- 
man Wooster  and  Richard  Van  Horn,  and  was  appointed  a  judge  of 
the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  in  March,  1821  ;  reappointed  in  1823  and 
held  the  office  until  1828.  He  also  was  master  in  chancery  and  a  com- 
missioner to  perform' certain  duties  of  a  justice  of  the  Supreme  Court  at 
Chambers.  Judge  Lansing  was  most  scrupulous  in  his  faithful  attend- 
ance upon  his  official  duties,  was  pure  in  character,  and  enjoyed  the  es- 
teem of  his  fellows.  He  died  in  Manheim,  where  he  lived  a  few  years, 
September  19,  1850. 

Michael  Hoffman  was  born  October  11,  1787,  in  Saratoga  county. 
He  began  the  study  of  medicine  early  in  life,  and  obtained  a  diploma 
in  1807  ;  began  studying  law  in  the  following  year  and  was  admitted  an 
attorney  in  1815.  In  1816  he  was  associated  with  Aaron  Hackley  at 
Herkimer,  where  Mr.  Hackley  had  established  himself  in  1807.  Mr. 
Hoffman,  by  assiduous  attention  to  his  profession  and  his  native  qualifi- 
cations, early  placed  himself  in  the  foremost  rank  of  attorneys.  As 
early  as  1 8 19  he  began  active  participation  in  politics  and  about  the 
same  time  removed  to  Seneca  county,  but  returned  in  a  few  years  and 
resumed  practice  in  Herkimer;  was  appointed  district  attorney  in  1823, 
and  again  in  1836,  resigning  in  the  following  September.  In  1S24  he 
was  elected  to  Congress,  in  which  body  he  occupied  a  distinguished 
position  during  four  terms  on  committees  and  in  debate.  On  his  re- 
tirement from  Congress  he  was  appointed  canal  commissioner,  in  1835, 
but  held  the  office  only  a  short  time.  He  was  appointed  first  judge 
of  the  county  in  June,  1830,  and  held  the  office  until  1833  ;  represented 
the   county   in   Assembly  in  1841-42,  and   again  in  1844.      He   was  a 


BENCH  AND  BAR.  139 

member  of  the  Constitutional  Convention  of  1846,  and  one  of  the  most 
useful  of  that  body  of  men.  He  had  at  that  time  gone  to  reside  in  New 
York  city,  and  died  there  (or  in  Brooklyn),  September  27,  1848. 

David  Holt  was  a  practical  printer  and  came  into  Herkimer  county 
in  1805,  from  the  city  of  Hudson,  to  begin  the  publication  of  a  news- 
paper. This  he  was  soon  afterwards  forced  to  abandon  for  want  of 
patronage.  About  the  year  181 1  he  was  editor  of  a  paper  in  Herkimer 
and  was  postmaster  at  that  place  many  years,  and  collector  of  internal 
revenue.  He  was  appointed  one  of  the  judges  of  the  Court  of  Com- 
mon Pleas  in  February,  18 1 7,  and  first  judge  in  1821  ;  he  held  the 
office  until  1825.  Adhering  to  the  fortunes  of  De  Witt  Clinton  he  lost 
political  preferment  with  the  decline  of  that  statesman,  and  resumed  his 
trade  of  printing.  For  a  brief  period  he  published  the  Repitblicait 
Fanner  s  Free  Press  in  Herkimer,  and  then  removed  to  Little  Falls  and 
conducted  the  Mohawk  Courier,  while  it  was  published  by  Charles  S. 
Benton  &  Company.  Thence  he  went  to  Albany  where  he  worked  at 
his  trade  about  ten  years,  and  removed  to  Wisconsin.  Judge  Holt  en- 
joyed for  years  the  confidence  of  the  community  and  met  his  reverses 
with  fortitude  and  resignation. 

Gaylord  Griswold  was  a  native  of  Connecticut  and  came  westward 
with  Theodore  Gold,  who  became  eminent  in  the  legal  profession  of 
Oneida  county.  Mr.  Griswold  settled  at  Herkimer  and  became  a  con- 
spicuous politician  ;  was  elected  to  the  Assembly  in  1797-98,  and  mem- 
ber of  Congress  in  1803-04,  where  he  was  a  useful  and  able  legislator. 
He  died  at  Herkimer  March  i,  1809,  at  the  age  of  forty- one. 

Simeon  Ford  came  into  Herkimer  count}'  previous  to  1797,  and 
was  afterwards  associated  with  Gaylord  Griswold  in  law  practice,  in 
which  he  became  prominent.  He  was  appointed  district  attorney  early 
in  1 8 19  and  held  the  office  until  1823,  performing  its  duties  with  fideli- 
ty and  ability.  He  was  often  a  candidate  for  office  when  his  chance  of 
election  was  not  good,  but  his  frequent  nominations  evinced  the  strong 
hold  he  possessed  upon  the  party.  At  the  annual  elections  of  1820  and 
1821  he  was  chosen  to  the  Assembly.  In  1825  he  was  appointed  by 
Governor  Clinton  to  an  office  at  the  salt  springs  in  Syracuse.  Previous 
to  this  he  had  become  pecuniarily  embarrassed  through  the  purchase  of 
lands  on  the  Hasenclever  patent.     After  a  few  years  he  resigned  his  post 


140  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

in  Syracuse,  removed  to  Rochester  and  five  years  later  returned  to 
Herkimer  and  resumed  his  profession  in  1832.  Not  securing  a  satis- 
factory chentage,  he  removed  to  Cleveland,  Ohio,  about  1836.  There 
he  met  with  success.      He  died  in  Cleveland  in  1839. 

David  W.  Golden,  a  native  of  Dutchess  count)',  settled  in  Columbia 
in  1798,  where  he  was  a  merchant.  He  was  appointed  judge  of  the 
Common  Pleas  in  March,  18 10,  and  commissioned  first  judge  in  181  i. 
He  held  the  office  until  his  death,  in  February,  1814.  He  was  regarded 
for  his  honorable  character  and  was  a  conscientious  and  discriminating 
official. 

John  Frank  was  a  son  of  a  Palatine  emigrant,  Conrad  Frank.  He 
was  appointed  a  justice  of  the  peace  for  Montgomery  county  in  March, 
1790,  and  afterwards  commissioned  as  one  of  the  justices  of  Herkimer 
county  (1791)  and  in  March,  1794,  was  appointed  one  of  the  judges  of 
the  Common  Pleas;  he  held  the  office  until  about  1799.  Judge  Frank 
was  an  activeand  zealous  participant  in  the  Revolution  on  the  patriot  side 
and  was  present  and  took  part  in  repelling  the  attack  of  Brant  and  his 
warriors  in  July,  1778,  in  their  attack  on  Andrustown.  Judge  Frank 
lived  near  the  south  bank  of  the  Mohawk,  in  German  Flats,  nearly  oppo- 
site the  village  of  Herkimer,  and  there  he  closed  his  life. 
'■'  John  A.  Rasbach  was  formerly  a  prominent  attorney  of  Ilion.  He 
was  a  great-grandson  of  a  Palatine  settler,  Johannes  Rasbach,  who 
located  about  a  mile  east  of  Fort  Dayton  in  1726.  John  A.  Rasbach 
was  born  May  9,  1805  ;  worked  on  a  farm,  taught  school,  and  was  a 
merchant  in  Herkimer,  and  was  postmaster  and  justice  of  the  peace 
about  twelve  years.  During  this  time  he  read  law  and  was  admitted  in 
1841.  In  1852  he  bought  a  farm  near  Ilion  and  removed  thither,  where 
he  became  an  active  factor  in  the  progress  of  that  section,  particularly 
in  railroad  operations.      He  died  at  his  home  in  Ilion. 

Aaron  Hackley,  jr.,  was  the  eldest  son  of  Aaron  Hackley,  sr.,  who 
came  with  his  family  and  settled  in  Salisbury  near  the  close  of  the  last 
century.  It  is  believed  that  he  was  a  graduate  of  Union  College  and 
that  he  studied  law  in  the  office  of  Gay  lord  Griswold.  He  entered  upon 
the  practice  of  law  in  Herkimer  in  the  year  1807.  In  person  he  was 
above  the  medium  stature,  erect,  well  formed,  dark  comple.xioned,  with 
irregular  features.      In  temperament  and   manner  he  was  affable,  as  he 


6L^\ 


BENCH  AND  BAR  141 

was  kind  in  feeling,  with  good  address,  and  always  a  gentleman.  He 
attached  himself  to  the  Democratic  party  (then  known  as  the  Republi- 
can as  opposed  to  the  Federal  party).  In  1814  and  again  in  181  5  he 
was  a  member  of  Assembly  from  Herkimer.  In  18 12  and  again  in  1815  he 
was  elected  to  the  office  of  clerk  of  Herkimer  county.  In  18 19  to  1823 
he  was  representative  in  Congress,  and  afterward  was  appointed  United 
States  collector  of  the  port  of  Ogdensburg,  and  he  took  up  his  residence 
there.  Several  years  later  he  returned  to  his  old  home  in  Herkimer, 
and  in  1828  was  appointed  to  the  office  of  district  attorney  for  this 
county  for  the  term  of  three  years.  In  this,  as  in  every  other  public 
office  which  he  ever  held,  the  duties  were  discharged  with  fidelity  and 
credit  to  himself  and  satisfaction  to  the  public.  As  a  lawyer,  Mr.  Hack- 
ley  was  highly  respectable  in  standing  and  ability,  but  not  remarkable 
for  any  special  or  distinguishing  power  as  an  advocate  or  speaker. 
Later  in  life  he  went  to  New  York  and  lived  until  his  death  with  his  son, 
who  was  a  distinguished  professor  in  Columbia  College 

Ezra  Graves  was  born  in  the  town  of  Russia  in  1803.  He  began  the 
study  of  law  with  S  &  L  Ford  in  1832,  and  three  years  later  was  ad- 
mitted to  practice  in  all  the  State  courts.  In  1845  he  was  appointed 
a  judge  of  the  County  Court,  and  in  1847,  after  the  change  in  the  con- 
stitution, was  elected  by  the  people  ;  held  the  office  about  eight  years 
and  was  again  elected  in  1859.  In  1872  he  was  elected  inspector  of 
State  prisons  by  the  Republicans.  He  was  a  son  of  John  Graves,  one 
of  the  enterprising  pioneers  of  the  town  of  Russia.  He  was  a  faithful 
officer  and  highly  respected  for  his  integrity.  He  was  father  of  Gen. 
John  C.  Graves,  of  Buffalo,  and  of  Dr.  George  Graves  and  Margaret  G. 
Mayton,  of  Herkimer. 

Hiram  Nolton  was  educated  at  Fairfield  Academy  and  spent  his  early 
life  in  that  town.  He  studied  law  in  the  office  of  William  D.  Ford, 
and  was  admitted  in  1814,  opening  an  office  in  Little  Falls.  He  shortly 
afterward  removed  to  Fairfield,  where  he  remained  until  1836.  He 
then  returned  to  Little  Falls  and  continued  in  the  profession  until  his 
death,  September  10,  1863.  In  1825  he  was  appointed  first  judge  of 
the  county  and  held  the  office  three  years.  In  1837  he  was  chosen 
district  attorney  and  held  that  office  six  years.  In  Little  Falls  he  was 
a  partner  of  Arphaxed  Loomis  for  about  ten  years.      He  was  a  partner 


142  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTt. 

of  Jarvis  N.  Lake,  1847  to  1855,  and  a  partner  of  George  A.  Hardin 
from  1855  to  i860.  Judge  Nolton  is  remembered  as  a  man  who  per- 
haps had  not  an  enemy,  and  merited  and  received  the  respect  and  es- 
teem of  his  fellow-citizens  for  both  his  integrity  and  professional  ability. 
He  left  him  surviving  Mrs.  Helen  M.  Ashley,  now  a  resident  of  Mont- 
clair,  N.  J.      He  died  in  October,  1863. 

Sandford  Clark  was  one  of  the  earliest  lawyers  in  this  county,  but 
very  little  is  known  of  his  life.  He  was  in  practice  in  Herkimer  as  early 
as  1792,  and  it  is  believed  that  he  preceded  Gaylord  Griswold  as  a  law- 
yer there.  He  was  certainly  a  contemporary  of  Griswold,  and  was  the 
opposing  attorney  in  the  first  suit  in  which  Griswold  was  retained.  He 
built  the  main  building  of  the  old  Waverly  Hotel  in  Herkimer  before 
1800.  It  has  been  said  that  his  affairs  became  broken  up  through  do- 
mestic difficulties,  and  that  he  disappeared  from  the  field. 

Oran  Gray  Otis  was  graduated  at  Union  College,  studied  law  in  the 
office  of  Simeon  and  Lauren  F"ord,  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1819. 
He  opened  an  office  at  Little  Falls.  He  was  fairly  accomplished  in  his 
profession,  was  a  fluent  and  forcible  speaker,  and  commanded  a  pros- 
perous business  Early  in  1825  he  removed  to  Ballston,  where  he 
practiced  until  his  death  in  middle  age.  He  was  elected  to  the  Assem- 
bly in  1831  and  re-elected  the  next  year. 

Dudley  Burwell  was  born  in  Norway,  Herkimer  county,  in  1801. 
(See  history  of  Norway  herein.)  He  attended  Fairfield  Academy  a 
few  terms,  and  about  1824  entered  the  law  office  of  Feeter  &  Benton 
at  Little  P'alls,  and  soon  acquired  a  good  practice  and  high  reputation. 
He  was  one  of  the  first  attorneys  employed  by  the  village  of  Little 
Falls.  In  1834  he  married  a  daughter  of  Col.  Samuel  Young,  of  Ball- 
ston ;  she  died  within  a  year  afterwards  and  he  never  again  married. 
He  was  elected  to  the  Legislature  in  the  fall  of  1832  and  was  prom- 
inent in  that  body.  In  1836  he  was  appointed  district  attorney  of  this 
county  and  made  an  able  official.  Mr.  Burwell  was  a  man  of  large 
brain  and  sound  judgment,  with  clear  perception  and  application  of  le- 
gal principles  and  a  very  good  lawyer.  He  removed  to  Albany  and 
opened  an  office  about  1838.  In  politics  he  was  a  strong  Democrat, 
and  for  many  years  was  influential  in  his  party.  In  1858  he  returned 
to  his  old  home  in  Little  Falls.    Here  he  purchased  several  adjacent  par- 


BENCH  AND  BAR.  143 

eels  of  land  on  the  hillside  east  of  the  village,  built  a  residence  at  the 
foot  of  the  hill,  hired  a  housekeeper  and  became  a  farmer  on  a  small 
scale,  still  keeping  a  lively  interest  in  public  affairs.  In  his  later  years 
he  was  regarded  by  many  as  a  recluse,  if  not  as  a  misanthrope.  He 
was,  however,  really  kind-hearted  and  charitable,  of  strict  integrity  and 
good  morals.  He  died  April  i8,  1876,  leaving  a  generous  legacy  of 
about  forty- five  acres  of  land  lying  in  the  eastern  part  of  the  village,  to 
be  known  as  Burwell  Park,  to  the  village  of  Little  Falls,  to  become  the 
property  of  the  corporation  at  the  death  of  William  G.  Milligan.  Be- 
fore his  death  he  caused  to  be  excavated  a  tomb  in  the  rock  on  the 
hillside  of  the  land,  in  which  he  was  buried. 

Abijah  Mann,  jr.,  was  born  at  Fairfield  September  24,  1793,  and  re- 
ceived education  only  in  the  common  schools.  He  taught  school  for  a 
short  time  in  Oneida  county,  and  was  married  January  18,  18 14.  The 
same  year  he  settled  in  Seneca  Falls,  where  he  was  postmaster,  mer- 
chant, and  built  a  block  of  buildings.  The  pressure  of  financial  affairs 
in  1815  closed  his  mercantile  career,  and  in  18 19  he  returned  to  Fair- 
field and  entered  the  law  office  of  Hiram  Nolton.  In  1822  he  was  a 
successful  competitor  of  Mr.  Nolton  for  the  office  of  justice  of  the 
peace.  In  the  fall  of  1827  he  was  elected  to  the  Assembly  and  re- 
elected the  next  year.  He  here  became  conspicuous  as  a  public  man 
and  politician.  His  career  in  Congress — 1832  to  1836 — was  marked  by 
the  same  aggressive  and  rude  strength  in  debate  that  he  had  exhibited 
in  the  Legislature,  and  secured  for  him  a  large  measure  of  influence. 
He  had  the  confidence  of  the  Democrats,  among  whom  were  Martin 
Van  Buren,  Silas  Wright,  Azariah  C.  Flagg,  Michael  Hoffman  and 
others.  In  1836  Mr.  Mann  took  up  his  residence  in  Frankfort  and  re- 
mained there  until  1842,  when  he  removed  to  Brooklyn  and  opened  an 
office  with  his  son-in-law,  John  H.  Rodman.  He  had  been  appointed 
receiver  of  the  Washington  County  and  other  banks,  from  which  he  re- 
ceived large  fees.  He  subsequently  left  the  Democratic  party,  and  was 
nominated  by  its  opponents  for  attorney  general  in  1855,  but  was  de- 
feated ;  he  ran  again  on  the  same  side  for  senator  and  was  again  de- 
feated. He  then  returned  to  the  party  of  his  old  affections.  His  health 
finally  failed  and  he  was  an  invalid  some  years.  He  died  in  Buffalo, 
while  on  a  visit,  on  the  8th  of  September,  1868,  aged  seventy- five  years. 
He  was  reported  to  be  worth  more  than  a  million  dollars. 


144  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Charles  Gray  was  born  in  the  town  of  Palatine  in  1796.  He  was  ed- 
ucated at  Fairfield  Academy  and  began  his  law  studies  with  Henry 
Markell.  In  18 19  he  went  to  Herkimer  and  entered  the  office  of  Sim- 
eon and  Lauren  Ford.  He  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1S22,  settled  in 
Herkimer,  and  was  for  the  first  year  or  two  of  his  practice  a  partner  of 
James  McAuley.  After  that  he  practiced  alone  until  his  death  in  1871. 
He  was  a  lawyer  of  fair  ability  and  was  better  qualified  for  office  busi- 
ness than  for  trial  cases  before  the  court  or  jury.  His  business  was 
chiefly  conveyancing,  office  counsel,  and  other  unlitigated  matters.  He 
was  a  good  business  man  and  good  citizen,  and  for  a  long  time  was  in- 
fluential and  prominent  in  the  politics  of  the  county.  In  1835  he 
represented  the  county  in  the  Legislature,  and  in  1838  to  1841  was  one 
of  the  judges  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas,  and  for  several  years 
held  the  office  of  master  in  chancery  in  the  county.  At  the  first  elec- 
tion of  judges  of  the  Supreme  Court,  under  the  new  constitution  of 
1846,  he  was  nominated  by  his  party  and  was  elected.  He  drew  the 
shortest  term,  two  years,  of  which  one  was  in  the  Court  of  Appeals  ; 
the  reports  of  the  latter  court  contain  a  few  of  his  opinions.  Judge 
Gray  was  fond  of  military  duties  and  for  many  years  he  held  the  office 
of  brigadier  general,  commissioned  by  Governor  Marcy. 

Arphaxed  Loomis  was  a  native  of  Connecticut,  where  he  was  born 
April  9,  1798.  He  was  a  son  of  Thaddeus  Loomis,  who  settled  in  Salis- 
bury in  1803.  He  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1822  and  first  prac- 
ticed with  Justin  Butterfield,  at  Sackett's  Harbor  until  1824;  in  1825 
he  established  himself  at  Little  Falls;  was  appointed  surrogate  of  Her- 
kimer county  in  1828,  and  held  the  office  about  eight  years;  was  first 
judge  of  Herkimer  county  five  years,  1835-40;  representative  in  Con- 
gress 1837-39;  member  of  Assembly  1841-42  and  1853;  member  of 
the  Constitutional  Convention  of  1846,  etc.  Later  in  life  he  was  asso- 
ciated with  his  sons  Watts  T.  and  Sidney  Loomis  in  the  practice  of  law 
in  Little  Falls,  and  died  there,  September  16,  1886.  Mr.  Loomis  occu- 
pied a  foremost  position  at  the  bar  of  the  county,  and  as  a  citizen  of 
Little  Falls  was  always  conspicuous  in  every  movement  for  the  ad- 
vancement of  the  village.  He  early  became  a  large  real  estate  owner, 
which  property  he  developed  and  improved.  He  held  several  village 
offices  and  in  their  administration  evinced  an   active  public  spirit.      Jn 


BENCH  AND  BAR.  145 

his  judicial  and  legislative  career  he  gained  the  confidence  and  appro- 
bation of  the  public  for  his  ability  and  efficiency. 

Sidney  Loomis,  son  of  Arphaxed,  was  born  in  Little  Falls  December 
19,  1846,  and  died  in  September,  1879  He  was  a  graduate  of  the  Al- 
bany Law  School  and  of  Union  College,  and  practiced  with  his  father 
and  brother  until  his  death.  He  was  a  man  of  high  intelligence,  well 
read  in  his  profession,  and  one  who  drew  around  him  a  large  circle  of 
sincere  friends. 

Nathaniel  S.  Benton,  to  whom  the  editors  and  publishers  of  this  vol- 
ume are  so  greatly  indebted  for  valuable  information  preserved  in  a 
local  history  issued  by  him  more  than  thirty  years  ago,  was  a  native  of 
New  Hampshire,  and  resided  in  that  State  until  he  came  to  Little  Falls, 
about  1816.  He  was  born  February  19,  1792.  At  the  battle  of  Platts- 
burg,  September,  1814,  Mr.  Benton  served  as  a  warrant  officer  of  vol- 
unteers and  received  a  commission  in  recognition  of  his  good  conduct 
on  that  occasion.  At  Little  Falls  he  studied  law  in  the  office  of  George 
H.  Feeter,  and  was  admitted  to  practice  in  18 17.  He  served  as  justice 
of  the  peace  at  Little  Falls  several  years,  by  appointment  of  the  gov- 
ernor. About  1820,  or  1 82 1,  he  made  an  extended  tour  through  the 
Western  States  in  quest  of  a  future  home  for  the  practice  of  his  pro- 
fession, but  failed  to  be  suited  and  returned  to  Little  Falls.  After  this 
he  became  a  member  of  the  law  firm  of  Feeter  &  Benton,  in  which  he 
continued  several  years,  doing  a  respectable  business.  From  1821  to 
1828  he  held  the  office  of  surrogate  of  the  county,  and  from  1833  to 
1835  he  was  first  judge  of  the  county.  In  1836  he  was  nominated  by 
the  Democratic  party  and  elected  State  senator  for  a  term  of  four  years. 
Shortly  before  the  expiration  of  the  term  he  was  appointed  United 
States  district  attorney  for  the  northern  district  of  New  York,  and  took 
part  in  the  memorable  McLeod  trial.  In  1846  he  was  appointed  secre- 
tary of  state,  which  office  he  held  for  two  years.  In  1856  he  was  ap- 
pointed to  the  office  of  canal  auditor  and  held  the  position  until  1868, 
when  he  retired  from  public  life  with  impaired  health  and  died  June  19, 
1869,  aged  seventy-seven  years.  At  the  time  of  his  death  he  was  senior 
warden  of  Emanuel  Episcopal  church.  In  all  the  various  public  stations 
held  by  him  the  duties  were  discharged  with  fidelity  and  with  satisfaction 
to  the  public.     These  duties  were  so  continuous  that  he  was  allowed 


146  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

little  time  to  devote  to  his  profession.  Indeed,  he  was  better  adapted 
to  discharge  the  duties  which  devolved  upon  him  in  his  executive  and 
official  life  than  for  the  successful  practice  of  law.  He  was  not  gifted 
with  the  qualities  of  a  public  speaker  or  of  a  popular  advocate  at  the 
bar.  While  he  was  secretary  of  state  he  availed  himself  of  the  public 
records  on  file  in  the  office  to  collect  some  of  the  materials  for  his  his- 
tory of  Herkimer  county,  which  he  published  in  1856  His  work  is 
still  very  valuable  for  reference.  Mr.  Benton  was  a  man  of  fine  personal 
appearance,  a  good  citizen  and  well  esteemed  wherever  known.  His 
wife  was  a  daughter  of  Eben  Rritton,  an  early  settler  of  Little  Falls. 

George  H.  Feeter  was  born  in  Herkimer  county.  His  father  was 
Col.  William  Feeter  of  revolutionary  memory.  He  was  educated  at 
Fairfield  Academy,  studied  law  with  Simeon  Ford  at  Herkimer  and 
settled  in  Little  Falls  for  the  practice  of  his  profession  in  the  year  181  i, 
continuing  in  business  there  for  over  forty  years  and  until  his  death, 
February  18,  1852.  He  had  several  successive  law  partners,  among 
whom  was  Nathaniel  S.  Benton.  Mr.  Feeter  was  fairly  versed  in  the 
law,  and  active  in  temperament,  better  adapted  to  the  trial  of  issues 
before  a  jury,  then  to  law  issues  before  the  court.  He  held  the  office 
of  district  attorney  from  1825  to  1828  and  discharged  its  duties  in  a 
creditable  manner.  Mr.  Feeter  was  the  local  land  agent  for  Mr.  Ellice, 
the  chief  proprietor  of  large  tracts  of  lands  in  and  about  Little  Falls, 
and  also  acted  for  John  Delancy,  another  non-resident  proprietor  of 
lands  in  this  county.  These  agencies  gave  him  business  and  influence, 
but  were  not  a  means  of  personal  popularity.  He  was  of  social  dispo- 
sition and  hospitable  in  his  home.  In  his  early  days  he  exercised  a 
large  influence  in  the  municipal  affairs  of  the  village.  Later,  when  the 
laying  out  and  improvement  of  streets  at  the  expense  of  owners  of  lots 
fronting  on  them  became  a  part  of  the  village  policy,  which  had  the 
effect,  if  it  was  not  the  design,  to  induce  the  non  resident  owners  to 
sell  out,  his  agency  interests  became  hostile  to  those  of  the  village 
authorities.  When  Mr.  Feeter  first  settled  in  the  practice  of  law  at 
Little  Falls  the  village  was  small.  He  grew  up  with  the  village,  and 
his  house  with  its  hospitable  associations,  was  a  marked  object  of  at- 
tention by  both  citizens  and  visitors  of  the  place. 

Lauren  Ford  was  a  nephew  of  Simeon  Ford  and  several  years  his 
junior.      He  was  a  graduate  of  Union  College,  studied  law  in    the  office 


BENCH  AND  J3AR.  147 

of  his  uncle  at  Herkimer  and  upon  his  admission  to  the  bar  in  1812, 
became  his  law  partner,  under  the  name  of  S.  &  L.  Ford.  This  firm 
for  quite  a  number  of  years  stood  foremost  in  the  profession  in  this 
county.  Lauren  Ford  was  a  man  of  good  address  and  manner,  cheerful 
and  agreeable  in  conversation  and  social  intercourse.  He  was  well 
grounded  in  the  principles  of  the  common  law  and  the  law  pertaining  to 
real  estate,  and  ready  in  their  application.  He  was  a  fluent  and  ready 
speaker  with  but  little  action,  emotional  in  temperament  to  a  degree  that 
he  was  not  unfrequently  moved  to  tears  in  addressing  ajury.  No  man 
in  the  county  was  better  known  or  more  popular,  and  he  was  himself 
remarkable  for  his  knowledge  of  the  individual  men  of  the  county  and 
of  their  family  descent  and  affinities,  and  also  for  his  acquaintance  with 
the  land  titles  and  the  patents  under  which  they  were  held.  He  moved 
to  Little  Falls  about  1840  and  continued  there  in  practice  with  fair  suc- 
cess for  many  years.  He  was  the  candidate  of  his  party  at  different 
times  for  State  senator  and  representative  in  Congress,  but  was  defeated 
for  the  reason  that  his  political  party  (the  Federal  and  later  the  Whig) 
was  in  the  minority  in  the  district.  At  a  later  period  (1857)  when  his 
party  gained  the  ascendency  he  was  elected  district  attorney,  which 
office  he  held  to  1858,  when  he  resigned,  and  George  A.  Hardin  was 
appointed  by  Governor  King  to  fill  the  vacancy,  Mr.  Ford  removing 
to  Brooklyn,  where  he  died.  Mr  Ford  held  the  office  of  surrogate  by 
appointment  from  1841  to  1845.  He  was  moderate  in  his  charges  for 
professional  services  and  made  no  attempt  to  make  money  by  invest- 
ments for  prospective  rise  in  value. 

William  D.  Ford  was  born  in  Herkimer  county  or  came  here  early. 
He  was  educated  at  Fairfield  Academy,  studied  law  at  Herkimer  with 
Gaylord  Griswold  and  Simeon  Ford,  and  came  to  the  bar  in  1809.  He 
established  himself  at  Fairfield  in  the  practice  of  his  profession,  where 
he  remained  until  he  removed  to  Watertown  nine  or  ten  years  later. 
He  was  fairly  well  read  as  a  lawyer  and  of  good  mental  ability,  but 
was  not  distinguished  as  an  advocate  before  either  court  or  jury,  although 
equable  and  respectable.  In  politics  he  was  a  Democrat  and  was  the 
recipient  of  a  fair  share  of  political  honors  from  his  party.  He  was  a 
member  of  Assembly  in  the  years  1816-17-18  from  Herkimer  county, 
during  the  last  of  which  years  he  moved  to  Jefferson  county  and  was  in 


148  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

the  next  year  elected  to  Congress.  At  Watertovvn  he  became  law 
partner  of  David  W.  Bucklin  and  the  firm  carried  on  a  successful  prac- 
tice for  some  years,  until  Mr.  Ford's  death. 

Elisha  Powell  Hurlbut  was  born  in  the  town  of  Salisbury  October 
!5,  1807.  He  was  admitted  to  practice  June  3,  1828,  and  had  an 
office  at  Little  Falls  on  the  site  where  the  chambers  of  Judge  Hardin 
are  now  located.  He  removed  to  the  city  of  New  York  in  the  year 
1835  and  practiced  until  1847  when  he  was  elected  a  judge  of  the  Su- 
preme Court.  In  1850  he  was  ex  officio]\idge.  of  the  Court  of  Appeals, 
and  several  of  his  opinions  delivered  in  that  court  appear  in  Vols.  3  and 
4  of  the  New  York  Reports  (3  and  4  Comstock),  and  tiiey  were  written 
in  a  clear,  terse  style.  He  resigned  the  office  by  reason  of  impaired 
health  and  took  up  his  residence  in  the  town  of  Newport.  In  i860  he 
removed  to  Bethlehem  near  Albany  where  he  resided  until  his  death, 
which  occurred  August,  1890.  He  was  a  descendant  of  Thomas  Hurl- 
but  who  came  from  Scotland  in  1635  and  settled  in  the  town  of  Weth- 
ersfield,  Connecticut.  Gansevoort  Hurlbut,  a  son  of  Judge  Hurlbut,  is 
practicing  law  in  Albany,  and  Catharine  M.  Ingham,  the  wife  of  Schuy- 
ler R.  Ingham,  is  a  niece  of  Judge  Hurlbut,  residing  at  Little  Falls.  He 
was  an  able  lawyer  and  a  useful  judge.  In  1856  he  delivered  several 
addresses  in  Little  Falls  with  great  clearness  in  his  style  and  energy  in 
his  delivery,  at  times  becoming  sarcastic  and  eloquent. 

Alexander  Hamilton  Waterman  was  born  in  the  town  of  Newport, 
November  6,  1825.  After  completing  his  legal  studies  and  being  ad- 
mitted to  the  bar,  he  opened  an  office  in  Little  Falls  where  he  continued 
practice  until  his  death,  which  occurred  October  8,  1856.  He  was 
married  to  Janette  Ingham,  the  daughter  of  the  late  William  Ingham, 
and  left  him  surviving  his  son,  George  D.  Waterman,  secretary  of  the 
Henry  Cheney  Hammer  Company  and  his  daughter,  Mrs.  Irving  E. 
Waters,  now  of  Bufifalo.  He  was  studious  and  energetic  in  his  profes- 
sion, and  in  1855  was  the  attorney  for  the  plaintifif  in  the  memorable 
slander  case  of  Snell  vs.  Snell,  tried  at  the  Herkimer  Circuit,  Hon.  Ros- 
coe  Conkling  being  associated  with  him  as  counsel.  In  this  case  a 
recovery  was  obtained  of  $  1, 000.  The  writer  of  this  paragraph  fre- 
quently measured  swords  with  him  in  legal  contests,  and  thereby  learned 
to  appreciate  his  ability,  skill  and  great  promise  of  a  brilliant  career, 
which  was  cut  off"  by  sickness  and  death. 


BENCH  AND  BAR.  149 

E.  S.  Capron  was  a  native  of  Onondaga  county,  N.  Y.,  and  became 
prominent  in  the  bar  of  Herkimer  county.  From  the  year  1832  to  1847 
he  was  a  partner  of  Jarvis  N.  Lake,  and  the  firm  was  among  the  fore- 
most legal  practitioners  of  Little  Falls.  After  the  dissolution  of  this 
firm  he  was  associated  with  Henry  Link.  In  1854  he  made  a  trip  to 
California  where  he  gathered  materials  for  a  historical  work  on  that 
State.  Returning  east  he  located  and  practiced  in  New  York  city  and 
was  subsequently  appointed  county  judge  by  Gov.  Myron  H.  Clark. 
At  the  expiration  of  the  term  he  resumed  practice  and  died  about  1883 
at  the  home  of  his  son-in-law,  Spencer  S    Coe,  in  Stamford,  Conn. 

Jarvis  N.  Lake  was  a  somewhat  conspicuous  attorney  of  Little  Falls, 
and  an  active  public-spirited  citizen;  he  came  here  from  Ames,  Mont- 
gomery county.  He  was  a  partner  with  E.  S.  Capon  from  1834  to 
1847,  3-nd  later  a  partner  with  his  uncle,  Delos  Lake,  until  the  latter  re- 
moved to  California.  He  then  associated  himself  with  Judge  Hiram 
Nolton  until  1854,  when  he  removed  to  New  York.  Mr.  Lake  was 
prominent  in  politics  as  a  Whig  and  held  the  position  of  clerk  of  the 
Assembly  in  1838;  was  trustee  of  the  village  and  president  in  1854. 
Delos  Lake,  uncle  of  Jarvis  N  ,  practiced  a  few  years  in  Little  Falls,  and 
removed  to  California  in  1848,  where  he  was  elected  judge.  He  died 
in  that  State. 

Clinton  A.  Moon  was  born  in  Russia  in  1827.  Educated  first  at 
Fairfield,  he  graduated  front  Union  College  in  1853.  For  two  years  he 
was  in  the  faculty  of  Fairfield  Seminary  and  then  studied  law  with  John 
H.  Wooster  at  Newport  and  was  admitted  in  1857.  In  i860  he  re- 
moved to  Herkimer  and  in  the  following  year  was  elected  district  attor- 
ney. In  1864  he  removed  to  Ilion  and  formed  a  partnership  with 
Thomas  Richardson.  In  1866  he  returned  to  Russia  and  mingled  legal 
business  with  farming  until  1875.  In  1876  he  removed  to  Newport  and 
practiced  there  until  his  death.  He  was  supervisor  of  the  town  of 
Russia  in  1870-72.  He  was  a  worthy  member  of  the  profession  and 
is  remembered  as  a  man  of  high  principles  and  integrity. 

Charles  A.  Burton  was  born  in  the  town  of  Newport,  his  father  being 
Darius  Burton.  He  acquired  more  than  an  ordinary  academic  educa- 
tion and  pursued  the  profession  of  civil  engineer,  joining  a  corps 
engaged   in   the   construction  of  the   Illinois  Central  Railroad.     After 


loO  HISTOMY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

completing  his  duties  there  he  returned  to  the  county,  read  law 
with  Judge  Graves  of  Herkimer  and  was  admitted  to  practice  on  the 
1 6th  day  of  February,  1845.  He  had  a  bright,  analytic  mind  and 
became  very  proficient  in  the  knowledge  of  principles  and  case  law  ;  ob- 
tained a  good  practice;  was  frequently  chosen  as  a  referee.  He  mar- 
ried a  daughter  of  the  late  Col.  Standish  Barry.  He  was  of  a  cheerful, 
companionable,  social  disposition,  readily  making  and  retaining  friends. 
He  continued  to  practice  and  reside  at  Herkimer  until  the  time  of  his 
death,  which  occurred  about  the  year  1858,  while  in  the  North  Woods 
upon  a  fishing  excursion. 

Volney  Owen  practiced  his  profession  at  the  village  of  Mohawk  for 
many  years,  and  in  the  memorable  contest  between  the  late  Amos  H. 
Prescott  and  John  H.  Wooster  for  the  Republican  nomination  for  the 
office  of  county  judge  and  surrogate  he  had  three  delegates  from  the 
town  of  Herkimer.  After  it  was  demonstrated  that  neither  of  the 
prominent  candidates  had  votes  enough  to  nominate,  the  Wooster  dele- 
gates joined  the  three  delegates  of  Herkimer  and  nominated  Mr. 
Owen.  He  was  elected  and  served  for  the  term  of  four  years  as  surro- 
gate and  county  judge,  his  term  commencing  in  1863.  Subsequently 
he  removed  to  one  of  the  Western  States  where  he  died. 

James  B.  Hunt  was  a  practicing  lawyer  in  this  county  from  1824  to 
1836,  and  resided  in  the  village  of  Herkimer.  He  was  a  son  of  Dr. 
Joseph  Hunt  and  born  in  the  West  Indies.  He  came  to  Fairfield  to 
finish  his  education,  and  after  leaving  the  academy  entered  the  office  of 
Simeon  and  Lauren  Ford,  in  due  time  was  admitted  to  the  bar  and  at 
once  formed  a  copartnership  with  Michael  HoiTman.  Mr.  Hunt  was 
an  active  and  industrious  lawyer,  was  well  versed  in  the  law  and  was  a 
respectable  advocate,  leaving  a  favorable  impression  as  to  his  ability. 
He  was  in  every  sense  a  pure  and  upright  man,  just  in  his  intercourse 
with  his  fellow  citizens,  generous,  genial  and  friendly.  He  filled  with 
credit  the  office  of  district  attorney  for  this  county  from  1833  to  1836. 
He  subsequently  became  enfeebled  in  health  and,  in  hope  of  improving 
it,  removed  to  Michigan  and  settled  in  Pontiac,  where  he  enjoyed  for 
some  time  a  good  practice.  In  a  few  years  after  his  location  in  Michi- 
gan he  was  elected  to  Congress  and  served  one  term.  He  did  not 
afterwards  return   to  active  practice,   but  held  several   offices,  among 


BENCH  AND  BAR. 


151 


them  that  of  land  agent  for  the  government  at  Lake  Superior.  His 
last  days  were  spent  in  Washington  in  some  subordinate  position  in  a 
government  department.  He  was  an  active  Democrat  in  politics.  He 
died  in  Washington  about  i860. 

Henry  Link  was  born  in  the^town  of  Danube  in  tlie'year  181 1.  He 
was  educated  in  the  common  schools  and  jthe  Canajoharie  Academy 
and  read  law  in  the  office  of  Judge  Lacia.  After  two  years  of  practice 
in  Fort  Plain  he  removed  to  Little  Falls  in  1840.  In  1848  he  formed 
a  copartnership  with  the  late  Judge  Capron  which  continued  until  1854, 
and  at  a  later  date  he  was  a  partner  with  Judge  R.  H.  Smith  Hon.  P 
H.  McEvoy,  and  others.  He  was  twice  elected  president  of  the  village 
of  Little  Falls,  and  in  1871  ran  on  the  Democratic  ticket  for  county  judc^e 
but  was  defeated  by  Judge  Amos  H.  Prescott.  He  was  familiar  with  the 
German  language  which  fact  drew  to  him  many  German  clients.  He 
was  a  fair  and  honorable  practitioner  and  enjoyed  the  confidence  of  the 
profession  and  the  public.  He  died  at  his  residence  in  Little  Falls  July, 
1 89 1,  at  the  age  of  eighty  years,  having  remained  in  practice  up  to 
a  few  weeks  of  his  death. 

James  Hart  was  born  in  Johnstown,  Fulton  county  November  7,  1 824. 
He  completed  his  education  at  Fairfield  Academy  and  taught  school  in 
the  towns  of  Salisbury  and  Little  Falls.  In  1851  he  commenced  the 
study  of  the  law  in  the  office  of  Loomis  &  Griswold,  and  in  1854  was 
admitted.  He  was  deputy  collector  of  internal  revenue  under  J.  R. 
Stebbins,  United  States  collector.  He  held  several  minor  offices,  and 
was  a  trusted  and  worthy  citizen.  He  died  suddenly  on  the  4th  of 
March,  1888,  at  his  residence,  leaving  his  sons,  James  B.  Hart  and  Ed- 
ward S.  Hart,  and  his  daughter,  Nellie  Hart,  him  surviving. 

Hamilton  Ward  was  born  in  the  town  of  Salisbury  on  the  3d  day  of 
July,  1829.  He  was  a  son  of  Peter  Hamilton  Ward  and  his  mother's 
maiden  name  was  Eliza  Cleveland,  a  daughter  of  Daniel  Cleveland,  a 
wagon  maker  in  Salisbury.  When  the  subject  of  this  notice  was  four 
years  old  his  parents  removed  to  Green  Springs  on  the  James  River  in 
Virginia,  and  when  he  was  eight  years  old  they  removed  to  Chemung 
county  in  this  State,  where  he  worked  on  his  father's  farm,  attending  dis- 
trict school.  He  was  admitted  to  the  bar  at  Cooperstown  in  July,  185  i, 
and  in  August  of  that  year  he  removed  to  Belmont,  Allegany  county, 


152  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

where  he  still  resides.  He  was  elected  district  attorney  of  Allegany 
county  in  1856;  re-elected  in  1862  and  in  1864  he  was  elected  to  Con- 
gress, and  again  in  1866  and  in  1868.  In  1879  he  was  elected  attorney- 
general  of  the  State;  and  in  May,  1891,  Governor  Hill  appointed  him 
judge  of  the  Supreme  Court  to  fill  a  vacancy  caused  by  the  death  of 
Thomas  Corlett.  In  the  fall  of  that  year  he  was  elected  by  the  people  and 
is  now  discharging  the  duties  of  that  office  ;  being  one  of  the  three  justices 
of  the  Supreme  Court  now  in  service  who  were  born  in  the  county  of 
Herkimer;  to  wit:  Judge  Ward,  born  in  Salisbury;  Judge  Celora  E. 
Martin,  born  in  Newport,  and  Judge  George  A.  Hardin,  born  in  the  town 
of  Winfield. 

Thomas  Dasey  was  a  native  of  Ireland,  where  he  was  born  in  1851,  and 
brought  to  America  in  the  following  year.  He  worked  while  young  in. 
the  factories,  and  later  attended  the  academy  where  he  acquired  a  good 
education.  In  1874  he  entered  the  office  of  Link  &  McEvoy  and  was 
admitted  to  the  bar  in  1878.  After  about  four  years  of  practice  he  was 
elected  in  1882  police  justice  and  re-elected  in  1886.  He  was  an  active 
Democrat  in  politics  and  exerted  considerable  influence  in  the  party. 
Genial  and  warm-hearted,  and  a  good  debater  and  effective  speaker,  he 
made  himself  popular  with  the  commimity.  In  his  administration  of  the 
office  of  justice  he  left  an  excellent  record  for  his  ability  to  deal  effect- 
ively with  the  criminal  classes.      He  died  February  9,  1 888. 

George  F.  Crumby  was  born  in  the  town  of  Newport  in  September, 
1855.  He  was  graduated  from  Hamilton  College  in  1879,  and  from  the 
law  department  of  the  same  institution  a  few  years  later.  He  com- 
menced practice  in  New  York  city  where,  however,  he  remained  only 
about  a  year.  Removing  to  Little  P"alls  in  1881,  he  formed  a  copart- 
nership with  Hon.  R.  H.  Smith.  In  1882  he  became  associated  with 
Hadley  W.  Jones  under  the  firm  name  of  Crumby  &  Jones,  and  this 
partnership  continued  until  his  death,  which  occurred  July  25,  1887. 
Mr.  Crumby  was  elected  school  commissioner  of  the  first  district  of  this 
county  in  1881  and  in  1887  he  was  chosen  president  of  the  village  of 
Little  Falls. 

John  I.  Prendergast,  long  a  resident  of  the  town  of  Winfield,  died 
March  24,  1869,  in  Brooklyn  where  he  then  lived.  He  was  State.sena- 
tor  in  1814,  member  of  the  Council  of  Appointment  in    1827,   and   for 


'^*^' 


(^^ 


BENCH  AND  BAR.  153 

four  years  was  judge  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  for  Herkimer  county. 
He  was  greatly  respected  and  esteemed  for  his  high  attainments,  integ- 
rity, and  uprightness. 

Sewell  S.  Morgan,  of  the  town  of  Winfield,  was  early  a  leading  lawyer 
in  the  county.  He  married  Julia  A.  Fairchild,  of  West  Winfield,  daugh- 
ter of  Anson  P.  Fairchild.  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  that  town.  He  was 
elected  district  attorney  in  1864. 

Sketches  of  Samuel  Earl,  Robert  Earl,  Geo.  A.  Hardin,  A.  M.  Mill, 
W.  F.  Lansing,  Amos  H.  Prescott,  A.  B.  Steele,  C.  W.  Prescott,  James 
B.  Rafter,  Ezra  Graves  and  others  will  be  found  in  the  biographical  de- 
partment of  this  volume. 

Following  is  a  list  of  the  present  members  of  the  bar  of  Herkimer 
county. 

Dolgeville,  Edward  A.  Brown  ;  Danube,  A.  C.  Dingman  ;  Frankfort, 
Jos.  J.  Dudleston,  jr.,  Frank  B.  Parkhurst,  E.  Lagrange  Smith,  Harry 
G.  Folts;  Herkimer,  Robert  Earl,  George  W.  Smith,  Josiah  A.  Steele, 
Abram  B  Steele,  J.  Dryden  Henderson,  William  C.  Prescott,  E.  B.  Mitch- 
ell, I.  R.  Devendorf,  Adam  J.  Smith,  Charles  Bell,  William  Wither- 
stine,  Charles  E.  Snyder,  George  H.  Bunce,  Robert  E.  Steele;  Ilion, 
Thomas  Richardson,  George  O.  Rasbach,  James  Conklin,  Fred  H.  Ben- 
nett, A.  D.  Richardson,  Lincoln  C.  Ackler  ;  Little  Falls,  George  A. 
Hardin,  H.  Clay  Hall,  Albert  M.  Mills,  Charles  J.  Palmer,  Rollin  H. 
Smith,  Watts  T.  Loomis,  E.  E.  Sheldon,  Edward  Simms,  Edward  J. 
Coffin,  P.  H.  McEvoy,  Fred  I.  Small,  William  F.  Lansing,  D.  A.  Cham- 
pion, Myron  G.  Bronner,  John  D.  Beck  with,  Charles  L.  Petree,  Frank 
H.  Willard,  J.  W.  Fitzgerald,  Hadley  Jones,  A.  H.  Bellinger,  H.  A. 
De  Coster,  P.  H.  Murphy,  Richard  Hurley,.Nelson  R.  Gilbert;  Mohawk, 
James  B.  Rafter  ;  Newport,  George  M.  Wirt,  Charles  L.  Fellows  ;  Cul- 
len,  J.  Howard  Green  ;  Poland,  Milton  Howe  ;  West  Winfield,  C.  D. 
Thomas. 

First  Judges  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  (appointed  by  the  governor)  —  Henry  y 
Staring,  February  17,  1791;  Jedediah  Sanger,  March  8,  1797;  John  Meyer,  October 
80,  1800;  Evans  Wharry.  March  18,  1805;  DfroTV:  W.  Golding,  March  27,  1810; 
Nathan  Smith,  April  7,  1814;  David  Holt,  January  10,  1821;  Henry  Brown,  Feb- 
3,  1823;  Hiram  Nolton,  March  23,  1825;  Michael  Hoffman,  March  21,  1830;  Na- 
thaniel S.  Benton,  Aprils,  1833;  Arphaxed  Loomis,  March  23,  1835;  Arunah  C.  H. 
Smith,  January  24,  1840  ;  Ezra  Graves,  January  24,  1845. 
20 


154  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

County  Judges. — Ezra  Graves,  June,  1847,  and  November,  1859 ;  Robert  Earl,  1855  ; 
Volney  Owen,  1863  ;  Amos  H.  Prescott,  1867;  Amos  H.  Prescott,  1878-1883;  Rollin 
H.  Smitli,  1884-1889  :   Eugene  E.  Sheldon,  1890. 

Surrogates  (appointed  by  the  governor  under  the  Second  Constitution). — Moses  De 
Witt,  February  17,  1791;  Sanford  Clark,  March  19,  1798;  Dan  Chapman,  March  23, 
1803;  Philo  M.  Hackley,  March  28,  1807  ;  Abijah  Tombliog,  November  6,  1816;  Na- 
thaniel S.  Benton,  March  29,  1821  ;  Arphaxed  Loomis,  January  10,  1828;  Charles  S. 
Benton,  July  10,  1837;  Lauren  Ford,  April  2,  1841;  Ezra  Graves,  April  2,  184:"). 
Under  the  present  constitution  of  the  State  the  office  of  surrogate  in  Herkimer,  and  a 
number  of  other  counties  which  had  each  less  than  40,000  population  when  the  consti- 
tution was  adopted,  has  been  consolidated  with  that  of  county  judge. 

Justices  of  Sessions — 1878,  Orrin  A.  Ford,  John  F.  Rogers;  1879,  C.  P.  Miller,  Har- 
vey R.  Kibbe  ;  1880,  J.  E.  S.  Wilkmson,  William  Helmer ;  1881-1882,  Elon  G.  Bur- 
■  rows,  Henry  Sherman;  1883,  C.  P.  Miller,  Frank  Faville ;  1884,  Frank  L.  Brace, 
Thomas  C.  Murray;  1885,  Elon  G.  Burrows,  James  Sharp;  1880,  E.  H.  Doolittle, 
Alexander  Fox;  1887,  B.  H.  Doolittle,  I.  E.  Jackson;  1888,  V.  S.  Farrington,  I.  E. 
Jackson  ;  1889,  V.  S.  Farrington,  William  S.  Burt ;  1890,  Levi  Sliaul,  E.  T.  Lester ; 
1891,  C.  W.  Prescott,  Munson  Bunnell,';  1892,  C.  W.  Prescott,  Albert  S.  Coe. 

District  Attorneys — Under  the  Second  Constitution,  which  was  adopted  in  1822  and 
in  force  until  the  end  of  1840,  district  attorneys  were  appointed  by  the  Court  of  Gen- 
eral Sessions ;  for  the  last  forty-seven  years  they  have  been  chosen  by  popular  vote  at 
the  November  elections.  The  list  for  Herkimer  county  is  as  follows  :  Thomas  R.  Gold, 
February  26,  1797;  Nathan  Williams,  August  20,  1801;  Joseph  Kirkland,  February 
23,  1813;  Thomas  H.  Hubbard,  February  26,  1816;  Simeon  Ford,  June  11,  1818,  and 
September,  1836;  Michael  Hoffman,  May,  1823,  and  March,  1836;  George  H.  Feeter, 
1825;  Aaron  Hackley,  1828;  James  B.  Hunt,  1833;  Dudley  Burwell,  1836;  Hiram 
Nolton,  1837;  George  B.  Judd,  1847;  Volney  Owen,  1850;  Lauren  Ford,  1856 ; 
George  A.  Hardin,  January  28,  1858,  and  elected  in  the  following  November ;  Clinton 
A.  Moon,  1861;  Sewel  S.  Morgan,  1864;  Charles  G.  Burrows,  1867;  Albert  M.  Mills, 
1870;  .Joseph  J.  Dudle.ston,  jr.,  1876;  Abram  B.  Steele,  1880;  Eugene  E.  Sheldon, 
1886;  Irving  R.  Devendorf,  1889. 

SAen/s.— William  Colbraith,  February  17,  1791,  and  February  9,  1796;  Peter 
Smith,  February  18,  1795;  Chauncey  Woodruff,  March  19,  1798;  William 
H.  Cook,  March  17,  1802,  and  March  5,  1807;  Ephraim  Snow,  March  6,  1806;  John 
Mahon,  February  22,  1808,  March  4,  1811,  and  March  2,  1815;  Philo  M.  Hackley, 
February  28,  1810;  Henry  Hopkins,  February  23,  1813;  Robert  Shoemaker,  February 
13,  1817;  Stephen  Hallett,  February  13,  1821, '"and  November,  1822;  John  Dypert, 
1825;  John  Graves,  1828;  Frederick  P.Bellinger,  1831;  Francis  E.  Spinner,  1834; 
Stephen  W.  Brown,  1837;  William  C.  Grain,  1840  ;  Jeremiah  Corey,  1843;  William  I. 
Skinner,  1846;  Daniel  Hawn,  1849;  Lorenzo  Carryl,  1852;  Peter  Countryman,  1855; 
James  J.  Cook,  1857  ;  Seth  M.  Richmond,  1861  ;  George  M.  Cleland,  1864;  James  H. 
Weatherwax,  1867;  Alexander  Smith,  1870;  Volney  Eaton,  1873;  James  H.  Ives, 
1876;  De  Witt  C.  Paine,  1880;  Valentine  Brown,  1883;  Delevan  L.  CooV,  1886; 
Newell  Morey,  1889 ;  Sylvester  Wilson,  1892. 


COUNTY  MEDICAL  SOCIETY.  155 


CHAPTER  IX. 
THE    HERKIMER    COUNTY    MEDICAL   SOCIETY. 

THIS  venerable  society  was  organized  on  the  5th  day  of  August^ 
1806,  at  a  general  meeting  of  the  physicians  of  the  county,  held 
at  the  court  house,  pursuant  to  an  act  of  the  Legislature  of  the  State, 
regulating  the  practice  of  physic  and  surgery,  passed  April  4,  1806. 

Dr.  George  Rogers  was  chosen  chairman,  and  Dr.  Westel  Willough- 
by,  jr.,  secretary,  for  the  day.  On  canvassing  the  votes  for  officers  of 
the  society,  Dr.  Westel  Willoughby,  jr.,  was  elected  president ; 
George  Rogers,  vice-president ;  Andrew  Farreil,  secretary  ;  and  Amos 
Haile,  treasurer. 

Drs.  Amos  Haile,  Andrew  Farreil,  Jonathan  Sherwood,  Rufus  Grain 
and  Isaac  Sears,  were  chosen  censors. 

The  names  of  the  physicians  present  at  this  meeting  were :  Westel 
Willoughby,  jr.,  George  Rogers,  Andrew  Farreil,  Amos  Haile,  Abijah 
Tombling,  David  Perry,  Jonathan  Sherwood,  John  Eastman  and 
Samuel  Redfield. 

The  first  Tuesday  in  January  in  each  year  was  assigned  as  the  anni- 
versary of  the  society.  At  the  annual  meeting,  held  at  the  court- 
house in  January,  1807,  the  society  resolved,  that  to  entitle  a  physician 
to  become  a  member  of  tlie  society,  he  must  either  produce  a  diploma 
from  some  medical  society  in  the  United  States,  agreeable  to  the  law 
of  this  State,  or  a  voucher  that  he  is  a  reputable  physician. 

Westel  Willoughby,  jr.,  M.  D.,  was  appointed  a  delegate  from  the 
society  to  meet  the  delegates  from  the  other  counties  in  the  State,  on 
the  first  Tuesday  in  February,  1807,  to  form  a  State  medical  society. 

Drs.  Benjamin  Hazen,  Nathan  Harwood,  James  Hadley,  Isaac  Sears, 
Jacob  Abrams  and  William  Traver  were  admitted  members  of  the 
society.  A  committee  was  appointed  to  form  a  code  of  by-laws,  who 
reported  the  same  at  an  adjourned  meeting,  on  the  5th  of  May  fol- 
lowing, which  was  adopted,  and  ordered  to  be  printed.  Dr.  Wil- 
loughby was   requested  to   deliver  a  dissertation   before  the  society,  at 


156  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

the  adjourned  meeting  in  May,  1807.  In  1808,  at  the  quarterly  meet- 
ing in  May,  a  seal  was  ordered  to  be  procured  for  the  use  of  the  incor- 
poration ;  and  at  the  anniversary  meeting  in  January,  1809,  the  meet- 
ings of  the  society  were  reduced  from  four  to  two  annually,  and  a  fine 
of  one  dollar  imposed  for  non-attendance. 

Dr.  Willoughby  was  continued  president  of  the  society,  until  January, 
18 16,  when  Rufus  Grain  was  elected,  who  held  one  year,  and  was 
succeeded  by  James  Hadley,  who  also  held  the  office  one  year,  and 
was  succeeded  by  Westel  Willoughby,  M.  D.,  in  18 18.  This  year  the 
society  passed  an  order,  that  the  county  censors  of  any  incorporated 
medical  society  should  not  proceed  to  examine  a  student  for  a  license 
to  practice  physic  and  surgery,  unless  he  produce  a  certificate  of  having 
attended  at  least  one  session  at  one  of  the  medical  colleges  in  the 
United  States  or  in   Europe,  after  the  first  day  of  January,  18 18. 

Dr.  Willoughby  held  the  office  of  president  of  the  society  until 
January,  1837,  when  he  delivered  a  farewell  address,  for  which,  and  for 
his  constant  and  unwearied  exertions  for  the  interest  and  welfare  of  the 
society,  a  vote  of  thanks  was  tendered  to  him.  The  society,  also,  by 
resolution,  requested  a  copy  of  the  address,  and  also  a  copy  of  a  com- 
munication that  day  made  by  him,  to  be  deposited  in  the  archives  of 
the  society.  In  18 18,  a  vote  was  taken  to  apply  the  funds  of  the  society 
to  increase  the  library  of  the  medical  college  at  Fairfield,  on  condition 
that  its  members  could  have  the  benefit  of  the  library  during  the  recess  of 
the  lectures  at  the  college.  In  January,  18 19,  a  resolution  was  passed, 
that  every  medical  practitioner  in  the  county  who  was  not  then  a  mem- 
ber, be  notified  by  the  secretary  to  attend  at  the  next  regular  meet- 
ing of  the  society,  and  connect  himself  therewith,  pursuant  to  the  act 
passed  in  181 8. 

In  January,  1823,  an  order  was  passed  to  apply  the  funds  of  the  so- 
ciety, in  the  hands  of  the  treasurer,  to  the  benefit  of  the  college  library, 
in  accordance  with  a  previous  resolution.  The  funds  afterwards  re- 
ceived were  also  appropriated  to  the  same  object.  In  1825  the  society 
asked  the  trustees  of  the  college  to  pass  a  resolution,  that  all  the  books 
purchased  by  its  funds  should  be  delivered  to  the  society,  when  the 
college  should  be  located  in  some  other  place  than  Fairfield.  In  1828 
the  society  adopted  resolutions  of  condolence  with  the  families  of  Drs. 


COUNTY  MEDICAL  SOCIETY.  157 

Bryan,  Willard  and  Todd,  who  died  the  preceding  year,  and  requested 
biographical  sketclies  of  their  lives  to  be  deposited  in  the  archives  of 
the  society.  The  society  had  not  met  with  a  more  severe  loss  in  one 
year.  These  gentlemen  were  of  high  professional  repute,  and  of  great 
personal  worth.  The  society  in  1830  had  its  attention  called  to  the 
evils  of  intemperance,  and  resolved  unanimously  to  discountenance  the 
use  of  ardent  spirits  ;  and  the  annual  meetings  were  changed  to  the  first 
Tuesday  in  June,  in  each  year. 

In  183  I  measures  were  taken  to  procure  a  medical  topographical  sur- 
vey of  the  county,  in  accordance  with  a  circular  from  the  State  Medical 
Society.  There  is  no  record  that  the  several  committees,  appointed 
under  the  resolution,  to  procure  the  survey,  ever  made  any  reports. 
Dr.  Calvin  W.  Smith  was  design^ated  as  the  candidate  to  the  State 
Medical  Society,  for  the  honorary  degree  of  doctor  of  medicine. 

The  society  this  year,  1832,  took  measures  to  petition  the  Legislature, 
to  restore  that  part  of  the  revised  statutes,  regulating  the  practice  of 
physic  and  surgery,  repealed  by  the  act  of  1830;  and  appointed  a  com- 
mittee to  circulate  memorials  for  that  object. 

In  1837  the  society  adopted  a  regulation  requiring  the  physician  em- 
ployed at  the  county  poor  house  to  make  an  annual  report  of  his  cases 
of  practice  ;  that  the  library  committee  should  make  an  investigation 
into  the  state  of  the  society's  library,  count  the  number  of  books  on 
hand,  and  compare  the  treasurer's  reports,  and  the  augmentation  of  the 
library  for  the  preceding  five  years.  Also,  that  each  member  of  the 
society  be  requested  to  keep  a  record  of  all  the  deaths  which  might  oc- 
cur in  his  practice,  the  age  of  the  patients,  the  diseases  of  which  they 
died,  and  how  far  said  deaths  were  caused  by  intemperate  habits  of  life, 
and  report  thereon  to  the  society. 

Dr.  Harvey  W.  Doolittle  was  chosen  president  of  the  society  in  June, 

1837,  was   succeeded   by  Dr.  Calvin  W.   Smith    for   one  year   in   June, 

1838,  and  was  again  chosen  in  1839,  and  held  the  office  by  annual  elec- 
tion until  June,  1842. 

In  January,  1839,  the  society  adopted  the  following  : 
"  Whereas,  by  the  dispensation  of  Divine  Providence,  since  our  last 
meeting,  this  society  has  been  deprived  of  one   of  its   most   valuable 
members,  and  the  community  of  one  of  its  brightest  ornaments,  in  the 
death  of  Dr.  John  Holmes : 


158  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Resolved,  That  the  members  of  this  society  shall  wear  the  usual  badge 
of  mourning  for  thirty  days,  as  a  testimony  of  their  high  respect  for 
their  deceased  friend  ;  and  that  the  secretary  be  a  committee  to  present 
the  condolence  of  this  society  to  the  relations  of  the  deceased." 

At  the  semi-annual  meeting  in  January,  1 840,  the  society  adopted  a 
like  resolution  on  the  announcement  of  the  death  of  Dr.  Calvin  VV. 
Smith,  and  appointed  a  committee  to  write  a  biographical  sketch  of  the 
lives  of  Drs.  Smith  and  Holmes. 

The  professors  of  the  Medical  College  at  Fairfield,  having  resigned, 
and  the  trustees  of  that  institution  having  failed  to  procure  the  appoint- 
ment of  others  to  continue  the  lectures,  the  society,  in  1843,  took  eft'ect- 
ual  measures  to  reclaim,  secure  and  preserve  the  society  library,  which 
had  been  deposited  in  the  college  under  the  care  of  the  trustees  and 
professors  of  that  institution,  as  before  noticed. 

In  June,  1842,  Dr.  Lester  Green  was  elected  president  of  the  society, 
and  a  resolution  was  adopted  pledging  the  influence  of  the  members  to 
forward  any  feasible  plan  for  resuscitating  the  Medical  College  at  Fair- 
field, and  tendering  the  use  of  the  society's  library  to  the  trustees  of  the 
college  when  the  professorships  should  be  filled  and  the  lectures  re- 
sumed. 

At  the  annual  meeting  in  1843,  ^^-  Green  was  re-elected  president. 
The  whole  number  of  volumes  on  the  catalogue  of  the  society's  library 
was  590,  of  which  475  were  brought  from  Fairfield,  fifty- four  were 
charged  to  members  and  sixty-three  were  lost  or  missing.  The  society 
adopted  a  set  of  by-laws,  regulating  the  safe  keeping  and  the  use  of  the 
library.  Dr.  Alfred  E.  Varney  was  chosen  [)resident  at  the  annual 
meeting  in  1844,  and  the  delegate  to  the  State  society  was  requested  to 
lay  before  that  body  the  opinion  entertained  by  this  society,  "  that  it 
is  the  duty  of  the  medical  faculty  generally,  to  memorialize  the  Legis- 
lature of  this  State  to  procure  the  passage  of  a  law  to  prohibit  the  sale 
or  use  of  any  secret  compound  as  a  medicine,"  and  to  ask  the  State  so- 
ciety to  adopt  measures  to  lay  this  subject  before  the  Legislature  at  the 
next  session.  These  proceedings  were  rescinded  at  a  subsequent  meet- 
ing. Some  doubts  having  been  entertained,  growing  out  of  the  legislation 
of  the  State  in  respect  to  medical  societies,  in  regard  to  the  legal  exist- 
ence of  the  society,  a  resolution  was  adopted  in  January,  1845,  to  con- 


COUNTY  MEDICAL  SOCIETY.  159 

tinue  the  association  as  an  organized  body,  and  the  unanimous  opinion 
of  the  society  to  that  effect  was  declared. 

Dr.  Abram  Snyder  was  chosen  president  in  June,  1845.  -^  resolu- 
tion was  passed  to  appoint  a  committee  to  present  the  condolence  of  the 
society  to  the  family  of  Dr.  Westel  Willoughby,  deceased,  and  request 
a  biography  of  his  life,  and  also  that  the  society  should  wear  the  usual 
badge  of  mourning. 

At  the  annual  meeting  in  1846,  Dr.  Caleb  Budlong  was  elected  pres- 
ident ;  Dr.  Walter  Booth  in  1848,  and  Dr.  Abram  Snyder,  again  in  1849. 
Drs.  J.  R.  Brown,  Wheeler,  Griffith  and  Snyder  were  elected  delegates  to 
the  National  Medical  Association.  Drs.  Brown  and  Wheeler  were  ap- 
pointed a  committee  to  prepare  and  present  to  the  society  a  biographical 
sketch  of  the  life  of  Dr.  Lester  Green.  The  transactions  of  the  society 
at  its  annual  meeting  in  June,  1 847,  do  not  appear  to  have  been  recorded, 
nor  is  the  death  of  Dr.  Lester  Green  noticed  except  as  above  mentioned. 

Dr.  Harvey  W.  Doolittle  was  elected  president  of  the  society  in  1850 
and  185  I.  Drs.  Booth,  Brown,  A.  F.  Doolittle  and  D.  Belknap  were 
appointed  delegates  to  the  National  Medical  Association  in  1850.  In 
June,  1852,  Dr.  A.  Green  was  chosen  president,  and  Drs.  A.  F.  Doo- 
little, C.  A.  Griffith,  A.  Hawn,  and  W.  Booth  were  appointed  delegates 
to  the  National  Medical  Association. 

The  society,  at  its  annual  meeting  in  June,  1853,  elected  Dr.  Walter 
Booth  president,  and  appointed  Drs.  Budlong,  Griffith,  Hawn  and 
Parkhurst  delegates  to  the  National  Medical  Association. 

The  proceedings  of  the  semi-annual  meeting  of  the  society  in  Janu- 
ary, 1852,  are  deeply,  nay  more,  solemnly  interesting.  Dr.  C.  A. 
Griffith  presented  the  following  resolutions,  which  were  unanimously 
adopted : 

Whereas,  It  has  pleased  the  allwise  disposer  of  events  to  remove  from  this  life  our 
late  friend  and  brother,  Harvey  W.  Doolittle,  one  of  tlie  oldest,  most  eminent  and 
highly  respected  physicians  of  this  county,  and  vf ho  Vf as  for  many  years  president  of 
this  society  ;  Be  it  therefore, 

Resolved,  That  we  deeply  deplore  the  loss  sustained  by  his  bereaved  family,  by  the 
medical  society,  of  which  he  was  long  an  active  member,  and  by  the  public  al  large,  in 
the  death  of  that  excellent  man  and  physician.  Dr.  Earvey  W.  Doolittle,  whose  profes- 
sional attainments,  not  less  than  his  own  personal  qualities,  contributed  to  render  him 
a  most  useful  and  estimable  member  of  the  community  : 


160  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Tliat  we  know  and  cherish  his  qualities  as  a  man  and  a  citizen  ;  that  we  admire  his 
sound  judgment,  his  scientific  knowledge  and  philanthropic  spirit,  which  gave  him  a 
desirable  eminence  in  his  profession : 

That  we  love  and  lament  him  as  a  friend,  and  we  doubt  not  his  translation  to  a 
higher  and  happier  sphere,  where  the  pains  and  cares  of  this  transient  life  give  place  to 
unbroken  rest  and  unspeakable  felicity. 

Following  is  a  list  of  the  successive  presidents  of  the  Medical  Society 
from  its  organization  to  the  present  time : 

Westel  Willoughby,  Jr.,  1806  to  1814,  inclusive;  Rufus  Grain,  1816;  James  Hadley, 
1817;  W.  Willoughby,  1818  to  1836,  inclusive;  H.  W.  Doolittle,  1837;  Calvin  W. 
Smith,  1838;  H.  W.  Doolittle,  1839-40-41;  Lester  Green,  1842-43;  Alfred  B.  Var- 
ney,  1844;  Abram  Snyder,  1845;  Caleb  Budlong,  1846;  W.  Booth,  1847;  Abram 
Snyder,  1849;  H.  W.  DooUttle,  1860-51;  Abel  Green,  1852;  Walter  Booth,  1853;  W. 
11.  Parkhurst,  1854;   Abram  Hawn,  1855;  Griffin  Sweet,  1856;  A.  F.  Doolittle,  1857; 

F.  B.  Etheredge,   1858-59; Hemstreet,    1800-61;  (records  mi.ssing  to   1871); 

A.  G.  Barney,  1871;  James  M.  Rose,  1872;  Griffin  Sweet,  1873;  Benjamin  E.  Bush- 
nell,  1874 ;  George  Graves,  1875;  H.  A.  France,  1876;  Stephen  Ingham,  1877; 
Charles  W.  Hamlin,  1878;  James  B.Casey,  1879;  A.James  Browne,  1880;  Charles 
J.  Hall,  1881 ;  John  P.  Sharer,  1882 ;  James  F.  Huntley,  1883  ;  W.  W.  Budlong,  1884 ; 
D.N.Walker,  1885;  E.  N.  Draper,  1886;  Eli  Fo.x,  1887;  P.  A.  Skiff,  1888;  M.  A. 
Southworth,  1889;  W.  D.  Garlock,  1890:  I.  S.  Edsall,  1891;  K.  A.  Bushnell,  1892. 

The  following  have  been  secretaries  of  the  society  : 

Andrew  Farwell,  1806  to  1809,  inclusive;  Jacob  Abrams,  1810;  W.  H.  Doolittle, 
1811  to  1814,  inclusive;  Jacob  L.Sherwood,  1816  to  1818,  inclusive;  M.L.Bryan, 
1819  to  1822,  inclusive;  H.  W.  Doolittle,  1823;  M.  L.  Bryan,  1824-25;  Muses  John- 
son, 1826  to  1836,  inclusive;  A.  F.  Doolittle,  1838  to  1840,  inclusive;  F.  B  Etheredge, 
1841;  C.  L.  Easton,  1842-43;  Griffin  Sweet,  1844-45;  C.  A.  Griffeth,  1846  to  1851, 
inclusive;  Adam  Miller,  1852-53;  S.  R.  Millington,  1854;'  C.  A.  Griffeth,  1855  ;  J.  E. 
Casey,  1856;  J.  B.  Casey,  1857;  C.  A.  Griffeth,  1858;  H.  H.Green,  1860-61;  C.  W. 
Hamlin,  1871 ;  A.  Walter  Suiter,  1872  to  1892,  inclusive. 

Of  the  proceedings  and  character  of  the  Herkimer  County  Medical 
Society  in  the  later  years  of  its  existence  it  may  be  said  that  it 
has  always  been  found  in  the  front  rank  on  all  matters  of  State  and 
National  polity  as  connected  with  the  practice  of  medicine.  At  a 
meeting  held  in  1882,  a  very  animated  discussion  was  held  on  questions 
of  ethics,  and  a  resolution  was  passed  declaring  the  allegiance  of  the 
society  to  the  Code  of  1847,  and  against  the  one  that  had  been  adopted 
by  the  State  Society  in  1881.  Many  able  papers  have  been  prepared 
and  read  before  the  society  during  its  existence,  showing  that  the  ability 
of  its  membership  as  a  whole  has  been  of  a  high  order. 


REGISTER  OF  PHYSICIANS.  IGI 

On  account  of  its  value  for  reference  by  present  and  future  members 
of  the  profession,  we  give  tlie  following  list  of  all  physicians  who  have 
registered  in  the  clerk's  office  of  this  county  since  I  880,  under  the  law 
governing  that  matter  : 

Vaugn  C.  Potter,  Van  Hornesville,  born  in  Salisbury,  Herkimer  county  ;  Geneva 
College  of  Physic  and  Surgery,  January  24,  18G0.     Registered  July,  1880. 

Augustus  Walter  Suiter,  born  in  Herkimer;  College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons, 
Columbia  College,  March,  1871.     Registered  July,  1880. 

Lyman  C.  Dexter,  born  in  Newport,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Newport ;  Uni- 
versity of  Michigan,  June  26,  1879.     Registered  July,  1880. 

Delevan  N.  Walker,  residence  at  Ilion,  Herkimer  county,  born  in  Root,  Montgomery 
county ;  Jefferson  Medical  College,  Philadelphia.  March  9,  1858.  Registered  July  16, 
1880. 

Robert  W.  Warnei,  born  at  Baltimore,  Md.,  residence  Ilion';  Albany  Medical  Col- 
lege, March  5,  1880.     Registered  July  21,  1880. 

Frederick  F.  Comstock,  born  in  Western,  Oneida  county,  residence  Ilion ;  Bellevue 
Hospital  Medical  College,  February  27,  1873.     Registered  July  22,  1880. 

Robert  J.  La  Fonzo,  born  at  Galveston,  Texas,  re.sidence  Brooklyn;  Indiana  Central 
Medical  College  and  Asbury  University,  March  1,  1867.     Registered  July  24,  1880. 

Abram  Guiwits,  born  in  Stark,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Salisbury  Centre;  Cas- 
tleton  Medical  College,  Vt.,  18.^,0.     Registered  July  26,  1880. 

Alfred  A.  Moors,  born  in  Plainfield,  Otsego  county,  residence  West  Winfield.  Her- 
kimer county,  Memphis  Medical  College,  Tenn.,  March  1,  1854.  Registered  July  2G, 
1880. 

James  I.  Rasback,  born  at  Ilion,  residence  Ilion ;  Bellevue  Hospital  Medical  College, 
February  26,  1876.     Registered  July  6,  1880. 

C.  J.  Hall,  born  in  Queens  county,  residence  Norway,  Herkimer  county ;  University 
of    Michigan,  Ann  Arbor,  March  31,  1870.     Registered  July  27,  1880. 

H.  B.  Mabin,  born  in  Halcott,  Greene  county,  N.  Y.,  residence  Ilion;  Albany 
Medical  College,  December  22,  1867.     Registered  July  27,  1880. 

Adam  Miller,  born  in  Columbia,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Jordanville;  Geneva 
Medical  College,  January,  1844.     Registered  August  7,  1880. 

W.  W.  Budlong,  born  at  Frankfort.  Herkimer  county,  residence  Frankfort;  Buffalo 
Medical  College,  June  3,  1848.     Registered  August  10,  1880. 

William  H.  Stebbins,  born  in  Manheira,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Little  Falls; 
College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons  western  district  of  New  York,  February,  1834. 
Registered  August  12,  1880. 

Alfred  Beach,  born  at  New  York  city,  residence  Ilion,  N.  Y. ;  Homeopathic  Medical 
College,  March  1,  1875.     Registered  August  13,  1880. 

Eli  Fox,  born  in  Columbia,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Mohawk;  New  York  Uni- 
versity, March  25,  1855.     Registered  August  16,  1880. 

Wm.  H.  Harter,  born  at  Herkimer,  re.sidence  Herkimer ;  College  of  Physicians  and 
Surgeons,  New  York,  March  4,  1852.     Registered  August  17,  1880. 


162  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Silas  Ingham,  born  in  Nassau,  Rensselaer  county,  residence  Little  Falls  ;  College  of 
Physicians  and  Surgeons,  Fairfield,  February,  1839.     Registered  August  17,  1880. 

Stephen  A.  Ingham,  born  at  Ingham's  Mills,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Little  Falls  ; 
Albany  Medical  College,  December  26,  1871.     Registered  September  9,  1880. 

Albert  J.  Browne,  born  in  Warren,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Newport,  Herkimer 
county ;  Berkshire  Medical  College,  Pittsfield,  Mass.,  1865.  Registered  August  20, 
1880. 

Charles  W.  Hamlin,  born  at  Holland  Patent,  residence  Middleville;  Bellevue  Hos- 
pital Medical  College,  March,  1866.     Registered  August  26,  1880. 

Benjamin  E.  Bushnell,  born  in  Fairfield,  residence  Little  Falls;  Albany  Medical  Col- 
lege, January,  1844.     Registered  August  2C,  1880. 

Kenyon  A.  Bushnell,  born  at  Albany,  residence  Little  Falls;  Albany  Medical  College, 
January  29.  1878.     Registered  August  26,  1880. 

Harvey  J.  Christman,  born  at  Herkimer,  residence  Columbia;  Albany  Medical  Col- 
lege, December  27,  1864.     Registered  August  28,  1880. 

Peter  Pryne,  born  at  Frankfort,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Herkimer;  Geneva 
Medical  College,  January  27,  1846.     Registered  August  31,  1880. 

Isaac  N.  Willard.  born  in  Fairfield,  residence  Fairfield ;  Bellevue  Hospital  Medical 
College,  February  23,  1875.     Registered  August  28,  1880. 

Adelbert  J.  Douglass,  born  in  Leyden,  Lewis  county,  residence  Ilion  ;  Long  Island 
College  Hospital,  June  26,  1873.     Registered  August  31,  1880. 

George  Graves,  born  at  Herkimer,  residence  Herkimer  ;  Buftalo  Medical  College,  Feb- 
ruary 22,  1870.     Registered  September  1,  1880. 

Lucius  L.  Brainard,  born  in  Exeter,  Otsego  county,  N.  Y.,  residence.  Little  Falls; 
New  York  Homeopathic  Medical  College,  March  5,  1874.  Registered  September  1, 
1880. 

John  D.  Young,  born  at  Springfield,  Otsego  county,  residence  Starkville  ;  ''  Academiaj 
Medioinje  Kentuckiensis,''  1865      Registered  September  2,  1880. 

John  P.  Sharer,  born  in  Little  Falls,  residence  Little  Falls;  College  of  Physicians  and 
Surgeons,  New  York,  March  1,  1848.     Registered  September  1,  1885. 

Cyrus  Kay,  jr.,  born  at  Frankfort,  residence  Herkimer ;  College  of  Physicians  and 
Surgeons,  New  York,  March  12,  1880.     Registered  September  1,  1880. 

William  H.  H.  Parkhurst,  born  in  Winfield,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Frankfort ; 
College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons,  Fairfield,  January  23,  1840.  Registered  Septem- 
ber 7,  1880. 

James  Hemstreet,  born  in  Ohio.  Herkimer  county,  residence  Poland  ;  Oneida  County 
Medical  Society,  Utica,  October  14,  1874.     Registered  September  8,  1880. 

AlmanzoG.  Barney,  born  in  Newport,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Brockelt's  Bridge  ; 
Albany  Medical  College,  December  24,  1860.     Registered  September  7,  1880. 

Henry  A.  France,  born  in  Herkimer,  residence  Poland ;  Albany  Medical  College, 
December  25,  1864.     Registered  September  10,  1880. 

Nelson  Isham,  born  in  Connecticut,  re.sidence  Little  Falls ;  Yale  Medical  College, 
March  4,  1828.     Registered  September  11,  1880. 

G.  T.  Hyland,  born  in  Madison  county,  residence  Little  Falls;  Bellevue  Medical  Col- 
lege, March  1,  1879.     Registered  September  11,  1880. 


REGISTER  OF  PHYSICIANS.  163 

William  Landt,  born  in  Danube,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Mohawk ;  New  York 
Medical  College,  March  2,  1858.     Registered  September  11,  1880. 

P.  A.  Skiff,  born  in  Schuyler,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Frankfort;  Albany  Medi- 
cal College,  January  21,  1851.     Registered  September  13,  1880. 

George  P.  Rasbach,  born  in  Herkimer,  residence  Mohawk;  Bellevue  Hospital  Med- 
ical College,  February  26,  1876.     Registered  September  14,  1880. 

Moritz  R.  Richter,  born  in  Germany,  residence  Middleville;  University  of  Leipsic, 
Saxony,  October,  1860.     Registered  September  14,  1880. 

E.  M.  Draper,  born  in  Broome  county,  residence  Ilion  ;  Albany  Medical  College,  Jan- 
uary 20,  1874.     Registered  September  14,  1880. 

William  H.  Brown,  born  in  Litchfield,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Cedarville;  Al- 
bany Medical  College,  December  26,  1866.     Registered  September  16,  1880. 

William  Tibbetts,  born  at  Ballston,  Saratoga  county,  residence  Newville ;  Bellevue 
Hospital  Medical  College,  March,  1867.     Registered  September  16,  1880. 

Charles  Isham,  born  at  Mohawk,  residence  Little  Falls ;  Bellevue  Hospital  Medical 
College,  March  1,  1866.     Registered  September  16,  1880. 

Malek  A.  Southworth,  born  m  New  York  State,  residence  Little  Falls;  College  of 
Physicians  and  Surgeons,  New  York,  February  5,  1846.  Registered  September  17, 
1880. 

Peter  F.  Bellinger,  born  in  Herkimer,  residence  Herkimer;  Bellevue  Hospital  Med- 
ical College,  March  1,  1879.     Registered  September  17,  1880. 

Peter  Yost,  born  in  Johnstown,  residence  Little  Falls  ;  Medical  College  of  Castleton, 
Tt.,  1847.     Registered  September  18,  1880. 

Leslie  R.  Quackenbush,  born  in  Herkimer,  residence  Brockett's  Bridge;  University 
Medical  College,  New  York,  March  13.  1880.     Registered  September  17,  1880. 

Theodore  J.  Ashley,  born  in  Whitestown,  Oneida  county,  residence  Ohio;  State 
Eclectic  Medical  Society,  Pennsylvania,  1863.     Registered  August  10,  1880. 

Z.  R.  May,  born  in  Bridgeport,  Conn.,  residence  Schuyler;  Eclectic  Medical  College, 
Philadelphia,  1861.     Registered  September  21,  1880. 

A.  D.  Coffin,  born  in  Deerfleld,  Oneida  county,  residence  Frankfort;  University  of 
the  City  of  New  York,  March  1 ,  1880.     Registered  September  21,  1880. 

J.  B.  Ellis,  born  in  Whitestown,  Oneida  county,  residence  Little  Falls ;  Bellevue 
Medical  College,  March  1,  1871.     Registered  September  21,  1880. 

Daniel  Lord,  born  in  New  York  city,  residence  Warren,  Herkimer  county  ;  the  med- 
ical department  of  ihe  Northwestern  University,  Chicago,  March  13,  1873.  Registered 
September  23,  1880. 

James  E.  Casey,  born  in  Schenectady  county,  residence  Mohawk;  Albany  Medical 
College,  1852.     Registered  September  24,  1880. 

James  M.  Rose,  born  in  Herkimer  county,  residence  West  Winfield ;  College  of 
Physicians  and  Surgeons,  Fairfield,  January,  1837.     Registered  September  24,  1880. 

James  F.  Huntley,  jr.,  born  in  Williamstown,  Oswego  county,  residence  West  Win- 
field  ;  Medical  Department  University  of  City  of  New  York,  February  20,  1877.  Reg- 
istered September  24,  1880. 

Henry  H.  Green,  born  in  Paine's  Hollow,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Paine's  Hol- 
low ;  Geneva  Medical  College,  1859.     Registered  September  22,  1880. 


164  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTT. 

David  M.  Diefendorf,  born  in  German  Flats,  residence  Herkimer ;  College  of  Physi- 
cians and  Surgeons,  New  York,  March,  1861.     Registered  Septeff.ber  27,  1880. 

J.  B.  Holcomb,  born  in  Yermont,  residence  Newport;  Albany  Medical  College,  De- 
cember 24,  1855.     Registered  September  28,  1880. 

Sydney  S.  Carter,  born  in  Madison,  Conn.,  residence  Newport;  Eclectic  Medical  So- 
ciety, October  18,  1876,  and  National  Ecleotical  Society  of  Detroit,  Mich.,  June  19, 
1878.     Registered  September  28,  1880. 

Henry  Lewis,  jr.,  born  in  Little  Falls,  residence  Little  Falls  ;  Albany  Medical  College, 
January  29,  1879.     Registered  September  29,  1880. 

J.  Dayton  Munn,  born  in  Litchfield,  Herkimer  county,  residence  Stark  ;  Albany  Med- 
ical College,  June  17,  1844.     Registered  September  27,  1880. 

H.  J.  Spencer,  born  in  West  Winfield,  residence  West  Winfield  ;  Homeopathic  Med- 
ical College.  New  York,  February,  1870.     Registered  September  29,  1880. 

Allison  0.  Douglass,  born  in  Ava,  N.  Y.,  residence  Little  Falls;  Long  Island  College 
Hospital  June  26,  1876.     Registered  September  30,  1880. 

William  H.  Craig,  born  at  Ottawa,  Canada,  residence  West  Schuyler;  University  of 
the  City  of  New  York,  July  14,  1874.     Registered  September  30,  1880. 

Loomis  Warner,  residence  West  Winfield ;  College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons, 
Fairfield,  January  26,  1826.     Registered  October  29,  1880. 

Miles  Longshore,  born  at  Depeyster,  St.  Lawrence  county,  residence  Cold  Brook ; 
University  of  Vermont,  June  26,  1879.     Registered  October  1,  1880. 

Lemuel  Fitch  Pattengill,  born  in  Otsego  county,  residence  West  Winfield ;  Medical 
Department  University  of  City  of  New  York,  February  17,  1880.  Registered  April  1 
1881. 

Frank  D.  Crim,  born  at  Mohawk,  residence  Mohawk  ;  College  of  Physicians  and 
Surgeons,  New  York,  November  9,  1880.     Registered  June  9.  1881. 

Charles  Harvey  Glidden,  born  in  Clarendon,  New  York,  residence  Little  Falls ;  Col- 
lege of  Physicians  and  Surgeons,  New  York,  May  13,  1881.  Registered  August  25, 
1881. 

William  D.  Garlock,  born  in  Manheim,  residence  Little  Falls;  College  of  Physicians 
and  Surgeons,   New  York,  October  11,  1881.     Registered  October  28,  1881. 

John  M.  Mangan,  born  in  County  Kerry,  Ireland,  residence  Little  Falls;  Medical 
Department  University  of  Pennsylvania,  March  14,  1857.  Registered  December  23, 
1881. 

Edgar  C.  Swift,  born  at  Paine's  Hollow,  residence  Jordanville ;  Syracuse  University 
College  of  Medicine,  June  9,   1881.     Registered  January  25,  1882. 

Elmer  G.  Kern,  born  in  Madison  county,  N.  Y.,  residence  Herkimer;  Hahnemann 
Medical  College,  Philadelphia,  March  10,  1881.     Registered  February  21,  1882. 

David  F.  Blanchard,  born  at  Cooperstown,  N.  Y.,  residence  Boston  ;  Royal  College 
of  Surgeons,  London,  Eng.,  March  22,  1852,  and  Medical  Department  of  Vermont 
University,  November  10,  1849.     Registered  February  22,  1882. 

Charles  P.  Beaman,  born  at  Philadelphia,  Pa.,  residence  Stamford,  Conn. ;  New  York 
Homeopatiiic  College,  March  16,  1882.     Registered  March  30,  1882. 

William  H.  Dewing,  born  in  Litchfield,  residence  Utica  ;  Hahnemann  Homeopathic 
Medical  College,  Philadelphia,  March  14,  1882.     Registered  April  6,  1882. 


REGISTER  OF  PHYSICIANS.  165 

Willard  Gillett,  born  in  Cherry  Valley,  residence  Starl<ville;  Albany  Medical  Col- 
lege, March  1,  1882.     Registered  April  17,1882. 

Charles  A.  Ward,  born  in  Candor,  Tioga  county,  N.  Y.,  residence  Troy,  N.  Y.  ; 
United  States  Medical  College,  New  York,   March  8,  1882.     Registered  June  7,  1882. 

Daniel  P.  Van  Court,  born  in  Otsego  county,  residence  Mohawk  ;  Albanv  Medical 
College,  December  23,  1875.     Registered  April  14,  1884. 

Willard  Holt,  born  at  Newport,  N.  Y.,  residence  Dolgeville;  University  of  Michigan, 
June  26,  1879.     Registered  March  30,  1883. 

Seymour  S.  Richards,  born  in  Newport,  N.  Y.,  residence  East  Schuyler  ;  University 
of  the  City  of  New  York,  March  13,  1883.     Registered  April  10,  1883. 

John  H.  Stephens,  born  at  Frankfort,  N.  Y.,  residence  Cedarville ;  Albany  Medical 
College,  March  7,  1883.     Registered  May  3,  1883. 

Edward  S.  Willard,  born  in  Fairfield,  residence  Watertown  ;  Albany  Medical  College, 
March  3,  1880.     Registered  June  5,  1883. 

Irving  O.  Nellis,  born  in  Herkimer,  residence  Herkimer;  Medical  Department  of 
University  of  Vermont,  June  22,  1882.     Registered  June  5,   1883. 

Clark  Getman,  born  in  Columbia,  N.  Y.,  residence  Dolgeville ;  Medical  University 
at  Buffalo,  February  22,  1883.     Registered  June  19,  1883. 

Emory  A.  Eakin,  born  at  Gallipolis,  Ohio,  residence  Buffalo  ;  Miami  Medical  Col- 
lege, Cincinnati,  March  2,  1869.     Registered  April  18,  1884. 

Charles  O.  Zimmerman,  born  in  Hermon,  N.  Y.,  residence  Frankfort;  Medical  Col- 
lege of  Maryland  University,  March  1,  1882.     Registered  June  3,  1884. 

Walter  B.  Miller,  born  in  Delaware  county,  N.  Y.,  residence  Salisbury  Centre  ; 
Albany  Medical  College,  March  2,  1882.     Registered  June  3,  1884. 

Peter  Walter  Emmons,  born  in  Romulus,  Seneca  county,  N.  Y.,  residence  Syracuse, 
N.  Y. ;  Physio  Eclectic  Medical  College  of  Ohio,  January  22,  1876.  Registered 
August  17,  1884. 

Henry  J.  Vrooman,  born  at  Trenton,  Oneida  county,  residence  Norway  ;  Bellevue 
Hospital  Medical  College,  March  13,  1882.     Registered  September  3,  1884. 

John  V.  Hennesey,  born  at  New  York  city,  residence  Little  Falls  ,  Albany  Medical 
College,  March  4,  1884.     Registered  October  4,  1884. 

George  C.  Morey,  born  at  Lebanon,  N.  Y.,  residence  Grant ;  University  of  Ver- 
mont, June  6,  1865.     Registered  October  25,  1884. 

James  A.  Moors,  born  in  Salisbury,  residence  West  Winfield;  College  of  Physicians 
and  Surgeons,  City  of  New  York,  May  13,  1881.     Registered  December  15,  1884. 

James  B.  Kershaw,  born  in  Litchfield,  residence  Van  Hornesville;  Albany  Medical 
College,  December  23,  1875.     Registered  January  6,  1885. 

Franklin  B.  Smith,  born  atHdlsdale,  Mich.,  residence  Buffalo;  Hahnemann  Medical 
College,  Chicago,  February  24,  or  26,  1879.      Registered  January  9,  1885. 

E.  S.  B.  Spencer,  born  ia  Winfield,  residence  West  Winfield;  Hahnemann  Medical 
College,  Chicago,  February  20,  1881.     Registered  January  21,  1885. 

Irving  S.  Edsall,  born  in  Roxbury,  Delaware  county,  N.  Y.,  residence  Middleville ; 
Albany  Medical  College,  March  4,  1885.     Registered  April  13,  1885. 


166  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

James  A.  Barringer,  born  in  Schodack,  Rensselaer  county,  residence  Genesee  county; 
Medical  Department  University  of  Buffalo,  February  25,  1873.  Registered  June  lii, 
1885. 

Albert  D.  Chattaway,  born  in  Springfield,  Mass.,  residence  Ilion  ;  New  York  Homeo- 
pathic Medical  College,  April  17,  1885.     Registered  August  2G,  1885. 

William  B.  Woodhull,  born  at  Painesville,  Ohio,  residence  Poland  ;  Unirersily  of 
the  City  of  New  York,  March  9,  1882      Registered  October  30,  1885. 

E.  E.  Kelley,  born  in  Salisbury,  residence  Salisbury  ;  Hahnemann  Medical  College, 
Chicago,  February  25,  1S86.     Registered  March  29,  1886. 

George  H.  Greeley,  born  at  Syracuse,  residence  Ilion;  Homeopathic  Medical  Col- 
lege, New  York,  March  3,  1864.     Registered  January  11,  1887. 

Thomas  F.  Lynott,  born  al  Pittstown,  Pa.,  residence  Frankfort;  University  Medical 
College,  New  York,  March  8,  1886.     Registered  January  17,  1887. 

John  W.  Sheflield,  born  at  St.  Johnsville,  residence  Van  Hornesville ;  Albany  Medi- 
cal College,  March  3,  1886.     Registered  January  18,  1887. 

Delevan  E.  Walker,  born  at  Dolgeville,  residence  Ilion  ;  Medical  Department  Uni- 
versity of  Buffalo,  February  22,  1882.     Registered  April  25,  1887. 

E.  Townsend  Jones,  born  al  Newburgh,  N.  Y.,  residence  Kingston  ;  certificate  of 
license  from  Censors  of  Eclectic  Medical  Society,  April  8,  1878.  Registered  May  24. 
1886. 

H.  A.  Ward,  born  in  Hartland,  N.  Y.,  residence  Ilion  ;  Pulte  Medical  College  of 
Cincinnati,  March  3,  1887.     Registered  October  14,  1887. 

William  Dougan,  born  at  St.  Catharines,  Canada,  residence  Buffalo;  Niagara  Univer- 
sity of  Buffalo,  May  3,  1807.     Registered  December  12,  1887. 

Fred  E.  Easton,  born  in  Cedarville,  residence  Richfield  Springs ;  Long  Island  College 
Hospital,  May  22,  1884.     Registered  July  7,  1885. 

William  H.  Dudley,  born  in  Madison,  Conn.,  residence  Newport ;  University  of  the 
City  of  New  York,  March  9,  1882.     Registered  December  4,  1888. 

J.  M.  Showerman,  born  at  Batavia,  N.  Y.,  residence  Batavia ;  College  of  Physicians 
and  Surgeons  of  Buffalo,  February  22,  1882.     Registered  April  29,  1889. 

Charles  G.  Strobel,  born  in  Ohio,  N.  Y.,  residence  Dolgeville;  Long  Island  College 
Hospital,  March  9,  1888.     Registered  May  16,  1889. 

Fred  M.  Barney,  born  at  Brocketl's  Bridge,  residence  Dolgeville  ;  Union  University 
of  Albany,  March  15,  1888.     Registered  May  20,  1889. 

George  W.  Mangus,  born  in  Herkimer,  residence  Little  Falls  ;  Columbus  Medical 
College,  Ohio,  February  29,  1888.     Registered  August  7,  1889. 

Benjamin  F.  French,  born  in  Ohio,  residence  Little  Falls ;  Hahnemann  Medical 
College,  Philadelphia,  March  6,  1880.     Registered  September  26,  1889. 

Edgar  H.  Douglas,  born  in  Massachusetts,  residence  Little  Falls;  Dartmouth  Medi- 
cal College,  Hanover,' N.  H.,  November  26,  1889.     Registered  December  2,  1889. 

Charles  W.  Nichols,  born  in  Fairfield,  residence  Fairfield  ;  Albany  Medical  College, 
March  21,  1889.     Registered  February  27,  1890. 

De  Witt  P.  Bailey,  born  at  Richfield  Springs,  residence  Van  Hornesville ;  New  York 
University  Medical  College,  March  4,  1889.     Registered  May  22,  1890. 


PERSONAL  SKETCHES.  167 

George  A.  Armstrong,  born  in  Plain  field,  Otsego  county,  residence  West  WinBeld  ; 
University  of  State  of  New  Yorlc,  l\rarch  5,  1884.     Registered  June  3.  1890. 

Brounislaus  Onufrowics,  born  in  Siberia,  residence  Dolgeville;  Swiss  Confederation 
of  Berne,  Switzerland,  November  27,  1884.     Registered  October  4,  18S0. 

Oliver  T.  Lines,  born  m  Connecticut,  residence  Brooklyn,  New  York ;  Hygeo 
Therapeutic  College,  March  29,  1859.     Registered  November  3,  1890. 

Le  Grand  H.  Hollon,  born  at  Albion,  N.  Y.,  residence  Herkimer;  University  of 
Michigan,  June  30,  1869.     Registered  December  16,  1890. 

Jasper  D.  Fitch,  born  at  Burlington.  N.  Y.,  residence  Mohawk  ;  Medical  Department 
University  of  the  City  of  New  York,  February  18,  1872.  Registered  January  IG, 
1891. 

William  P.  Smith,  born  at  Glens  Falls,  residence  Albany  ;  University  of  Vermont, 
June  29,  1885.     Registered  February  26,  1891. 

J.  T.  Hard,  born  at  East  Worcester,  N.  Y.,  residence  Little  Falls ;  Albany  Medical 
College,  March  18, 1877.     Registered  April  11,  1891. 

John  D.  Hilton,  born  at  Kingston,  N.  C,  residence  Stratford,  Fulton  county ;  Uni- 
versity of  City  of  New  York,  March  24,  1891.     Registered  May  7,  1891. 

Merton  W.  Brown,  born  in  Litchfield,  N.  Y.,  residence  Cedarville  ;  Albany  Medical 
College,  April  1,  1891.     Registered  June  2,  1891. 

B.  Rush  Jackson,  born  in  Berwick,  Pa.,  residence  Amsterdam ;  Electro-Therapeutic 
Institute,  Philadelphia,  October  23,  188G.     Registered  July  28,  1891. 

John  Logan,  born  in  Ireland,  residence  Little  Falls;  Bellevue  Ho.«pital  Medical 
College.  March  14,  1883.     Registered  October  29,   1891. 

L.  B.  Palmiter,  born  in  Hamilton,  N.  Y..  residence  Ilion ;  University  of  Vermont, 
July  13, 1891.     Registered  November  10,  1891. 

William  Edwin  Hayes,  born  at  Frankfort,  residence  Frankfort;  Medical  Department 
University  of  City  of  New  York,  March  24,  1891.     Registered  February  1.  18i)2. 

Henry  Francis  Kilbourn,  born  at  Elizabethtown,  Canada,  residence  Croghan,  N.  Y. ; 
College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons,  Buffalo,  February  2o,  1881.  Registered  March  31, 
1892. 

J.  H.  Shaper,  born  at  Canajoharie,  residence  Herkimer;  University  of  Michigan, 
July  3,  1891.     Registered  September  27, 1892. 

Channing  A.  Holt,  born  at  Hartford,  Conn.,  residence  Albany  ;  Medical  University 
of  City  of  New  York,  January  16,  1892.     Registered  September  26,  1892. 

PERSONAL   SKETCHES. 

Dr.  Westel  Willoughby  was  a  native  of  Connecticut,  and  one  of  the 
most  eminent  of  the  early  physicians  of  Herkimer  county.  While  still 
a  young  man  he  settled  in  Norway,  where  he  began  his  practice  at 
about  the  time  of  the  first  settlement  of  the  Royal  Grant.  He  subse- 
quently removed  to  the  valley  of  the  West  Canada  Creek,  where  he 
made  for  himself  a  beautiful  home  near  the  village  of  Newport;  this  he 


168  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

continued  to  own  and  beautify  throughout  his  life.  He  was  for  about 
twenty  years  professor  of  midwifery  and  of  the  diseases  of  women  and 
children  in  the  Fairfield  Medical  College,  and  for  a  portion  of  that  time 
was  president  of  the  institution.  Outside  of  his  profession  he  was  pub- 
lic-spirited, benevolent,  and  active  in  the  affairs  of  the  county.  He 
was  twice  chosen  member  of  Assembly,  1807-08.  He  was  appointed 
one  of  the  judges  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  in  March,  1805,  and 
so  continued  until  1821.  He  belonged  to  the  medical  staff  of  the  mili- 
tia during  the  war  of  181 2,  and  spent  some  time  on  the  frontier.  He 
was  elected  to  Congress  from  his  district  in  18 14.  Dr.  Willoughby 
died  at  Newport  in  1844,  aged  seventy- five  years. 

Dr.  Rufus  Crain  was  one  of  the  original  members  of  the  County 
Medical  Society  and  a  native  of  Worcester  county,  Mass.  He  settled 
in  the  town  of  Warren  in  1790,  having  already  studied  for  his  pro 
fession.  His  zeal  and  success  was  such  that  in  a  few  years  he  found 
himself  in  the  enjoyment  of  an  extensive  practice.  He  was  one  of  the 
early  and  earnest  patrons  of  the  Fairfield  Medical  College  Dr.  Crain 
was  not  an  active  politician,  but  his  personal  qualifications  were  such 
that  his  fellow- citizens  called  him  to  several  positions  of  trust.  He  was 
appointed  one  of  the  judges  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  in  Feb- 
ruary, 1817,  and  continued  such  until  1820;  was  reappointed  in  1821, 
1823,  and  1828,  and  held  the  office  until  1833.  He  was  chosen  presi- 
dential elector  in  1828.  He  was  a  sociable  and  hospitable  man,  and 
his  character  and  life  were  worthy  of  esteem.  He  died  in  Warren  Sep- 
tember 18,  1846,  leaving  a  son  and  a  daughter  and  a  large  estate. 

Dr.  William  Mather  was  born  in  Fairfield  April  28,  1802,  and  was  a 
son  of  the  pioneer  Moses  Mather.  Dr.  Mather  was  graduated  from 
Fairfield  College  in  1826,  andbecame  a  member  of  the  County  Medical 
Society  in  1831.  Early  in  his  professional  career  he  became  deeply  in- 
terested in  chemistry,  and  from  1828  to  1868  was  a  very  popular  lect- 
urer upon  that  subject.  In  1838  he  was  appointed  instructor  of  chem- 
istry in  Hamilton  Literary  and  Theological  Seminary,  and  in  1841  was 
chosen  professor  of  chemistry  and  pharmacy  in  Castleton  Medical  Col- 
lege, Vt.  From  1852  to  1868  he  was  professor  of  chemistry,  geology 
and  mineralogy  in  Madison  University.  Dr.  Mather's  residence  was  in 
Fairfield,  where  he  was  one  of  the  most  honored  citizens.  He  died 
June  26,  1890. 


Wi^/M    \'!^^^^y^^^X^k 


PERSONAL  SKETCHES.  169 

Dr.  Stephen  Todd  was  born  in  Wallingford,  Conn.,  December  23, 
1773  His  father  removed  to  Sah'sbury  in  1792,  and  there  the  young 
man  aided  his  father  in  clearing  a  home.  Having  studied  his  profession, 
he  began  practice  in  Sah'sbury  in  1800,  and  became  a  member  of  the 
County  Medical  Society  in  18 19.  He  was  captain  of  a  company  of 
militia  in  the  war  of  1812  and  served  on  the  frontier.  In  1821  he  was 
nominated  for  the  Assembly  and  received  a  majority  of  the  popular 
vote,  but  failed  to  obtain  his  certificate  of  election  from  the  county 
clerk.  Dr.  Todd  attained  a  fair  degree  of  eminence  in  his  profession 
and  was  justly  esteemed  by  the  community.  He  died  in  Salisbury  in 
the  same  month  and  on  the  same  day  of  the  month  of  his  birth,  in  1827, 
aged  fifty- four. 

Dr.  Abijah  Tombling  was  one  of  the  original  members  of  the  County 
Medical  Society  and  a  coteniporary  of  Dr.  Willoughby.  He  settled  in 
the  town  of  Norway  near  the  close  of  the  last  century.  Later  in  life 
he  removed  to  Herkimer  village.  He  was  appointed  surrogate  of  the 
county  in  18 16  and  held  the  office  until  1821.  From  that  time  he  par- 
tially or  wholly  gave  up  his  profession.  He  died  in  Herkimer,  leaving 
a  family. 

Dr.  William  Petry  was  the  earliest  physician  of  prominence  in  Her- 
kimer county.  He  was  born  near  Oppenheim,  in  Germany,  December 
7'  1733.  ^'■'d  came  to  this  country  in  1763  ;  he  married  Salome  Wolf, 
daughter  of  John  Wolf,  of  Cosby's  Manor,  in  1766.  He  had  served 
as  surgeon  in  the  Prussian  army  before  coming  to  America.  Previous 
to  the  Revolution  he  was  interested  in  a  store  at  the  site  of  Herkimer 
village.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Tryon  County  Committee  of  Safety 
in  1775,  and  acted  as  justice  of  the  peace  during  the  Revolution. 
From  1776  to  1779  he  was  employed  as  surgeon  at  Fort  Dayton  and 
was  General  Herkimer's  medical  adviser ;  was  appointed  surgeon  of 
Colonel  Willett's  regiment  in  April,  1781.  He  participated  in  the 
battle  of  Oriskany  and  was  wounded  in  the  leg ;  was  with  Colonel 
Willett  in  the  pursuit  after  Ross  and  Butler;  also  accompanied  his  reg- 
iment in  February,  1783,  in  the  expedition  to  capture  the  Oswego 
fortress. 

After  the  Revolution  Dr.  Petry  was  actively  engaged  in  his  profession 
throughout  the  Mohawk  valley  for  many  years  and  to  near  the  close  of 
22 


170  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

his  life.  He  was  also  iaterested  in  mercantile  business  at  Herkimer 
after  the  war  and  continued  in  it  until  near  his  death.  Dr.  Petry  died 
at  Herkimer  August  6,  1806,  leaving  several  sons  and  daughters.  One 
of  tiie  latter  was  the  mother  of  Samuel   Earl  and  Judge  Robert  Earl. 

Dr.  H.  VV.  Doolittle,  died  in  the  year  1853.  We  have  no  data  from 
which  to  write  a  sketch  of  his  life,  but  a  resolution  adopted  by  the  Med- 
ical Society  speaks  of  his  high  professional  attainments  as  well  as  his 
personal  qualities,  which  rendered  him  a  most  useful  and  estimable  mem- 
ber of  the  community.      He  died  December  7,  1853. 

Dr.  Nathan  S.  Willard  (father  of  X.  A.  Willard),  an  early  physician 
of  Herkimer  county,  was  born  at  Saybrook,  Conn.,  March  29,  1788. 
He  was  graduated  from  Fairfield  Medical  College  July  14,  1810,  and  at 
once  began  the  practice  of  his  profession  at  Eatonville.  At  that  period 
there  were  but  few  physicians  in  the  county,  and  Dr.  Willard's  practice 
extended  over  a  wide  territory,  embracing  in  part  the  towns  of  Fairfield, 
Newport,  Herkimer  and  Little  Falls.  He  was  skilled  in  his  profession, 
liberal  and  progressive  in  mind  and  energetic  and  conscientious  in  the 
performance  of  his  duty  as  a  physician  and  citizen.  In  1813  he  married 
Mary  Wharry,  eldest  daughter  of  Judge  Evans  Wharry ;  a  sketch  of 
Judge  Wharry's  life  appears  in  this  work  under  the  Bench  and  Bar. 
Dr.  Willard  died  September  29,  1827. 

Dr.  Daniel  Belknap  came  to  Herkimer  county  in  1823,  and  entered  the 
office  of  Dr.  N.  S.  Willard,  then  a  prominent  physican  at  Eatonville. 
He  was  graduated  in  1 828  at  Fairfield  and  took  up  Dr.  Willard's  practice. 
In  1832  he  settled  in  Little  Falls  and  practiced  here  until  his  death. 
It  was  written  of  him  that  his  close  observation,  keen  perception,  and 
clear  discrimination  rendered  his  judgment  almost  infallible.  He  was 
fearless  in  defense  of  the  right  and  possessed  many  good  qualities  as  a 
man  and  a  citizen. 

Dr.  Lester  Green  commenced  the  study  of  medicine  under  Dr.  Luther 
Giteau  of  Trenton,  Oneida  county,  in  1803.  In  1821  he  was  gradu- 
ated from  Fairfield  Medical  College,  and  began  practice  at  Little 
Falls,  where  he  was  actively  engaged  in  his  profession  for  thirty  years. 
He  was  elected  a  permanent  member  of  the  New  York  State  Medical 
Society  in  1843,  and  for  two  terms  was  president  of  that  society.  In 
1849  he  was  chosen  a  delegate  to  the  United   States  Medical   Society. 


FAIRFIELD  MEDICAL  COLLEGE.  171 

Dr.  Green  was  for  many  years  a  leading  physician  of  the  county,  and 
has  left  a  record  for  being  sound  in  judgment,  skillful,  devoted  to  his 
profession  and  public  spirited  as  a  citizen.  He  died  at  I.ittle  Falls  Feb- 
ruary 6,  1849. 

Dr.  S.  A.  Ingham  was  born  in  Rensselaer  county  April  3,  18  17,  and 
in  the  following  year  removed  with  his  father  to  what  is  now  Ingham's 
Mills.  He  studied  medicine  with  Dr.  Nolton  and  was  graduated  from 
the  Medical  College  in  January,  1840.  From  that  time  until  1844  he 
was  associated  with  Dr.  Booth,  of  Russia,  after  which  he  located  in  Ing- 
ham's Mills.  In  1849  he  removed  to  Little  Falls  where  he  was  in 
practice  more  than  thirty  years.  He  served  over  two  years  as  surgeon 
of  the  I52d  New  York  Regiment  in  the  Civil  War. 

Dr.  P.  Pryne,  was  an  early  physician  in  Frankfort  where  he  was 
born  in  1820.  He  studied  medicine  with  Dr.  H.  W.  Doolittle  and  be- 
gan practice  in  Herkimer  in  1844.  His  grandfather,  Peter  Pryne,  served 
at  the  battle  of  Oriskany,  where  he  was  wounded,  and  his  father,  Francis 
Pryne,  served  in  the  war  of  181 2. 

Griffin  Sweet,  M.  D.,  was  born  in  March,  1814,  in  Norway,  Herkimer 
county.  He  was  graduated  at  Fairfield  Medical  College  and  located  in 
Fairfield  where  he  practiced  his  profession  until  near  his  death.  He 
held  the  office  of  supervisor,  was  superintendent  of  the  schools,  and  a 
member  of  Assembly  from  his  district  in  1863.  He  was  an  able  man 
intellectually  and  stood  high  in  his  profession. 

Dr.  Hamblin  B.  Maben  was  born  in  Greene  county,  N.  Y.,  March  27, 
1 833.  After  receiving  a  classical  education  he  studied  medicine  and  was 
graduated  at  the  Albany  Medical  College  at  the  age  of  twenty  four. 
Locating  in  Ilion  in  i860  he  soon  gained  a  large  practice  and  long  oc- 
cupied a  foremost  place  in  the  profession.  He  was  honored  with 
many  positions  of  trust  in  local  offices  and  was  twice  the  Democratic 
nominee  for  the  Assembly.  He  also  became  largely  interested  in  build- 
ing and  other  real  estate  operations  in  Ilion. 

James  Hemstreet  was  born  in  the  town  of  Ohio,  Herkimer  county,  in 
1826.  He  studied  medicine  with  his  father,  Richard  I.  Hemstreet, 
practiced  in  Trenton,  Gray  and  Newport,  finally  settling  in  Poland  vil- 
lage in  1865. 

Fairfield  Medical  College. — The  College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons 
of  the  western  district   of  New  York,   located  at  Fairfield,    Herkimer 


ir-i  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COtlNTY. 

county,  had  its  origin  in  the  medical  school  established  by  the  trustees 
of  Fairfield  Academy,  in  1809.  This  school  had  acquired  some  reputa- 
tion while  attached  to  the  academy.  It  was  such  even  in  the  second 
year  of  its  existence  as  to  induce  the  Legislature  of  the  State  to  endow 
it  with  $5,000,  and  when  it  received  the  rank  of  college,  they  generous- 
ly added  to  its  funds  the  further  sum  of  $10,000 

The  charter  of  the  college  bears  date  June  12,  1812,  to  which  is  ap- 
pended the  seal  of  the  University  of  the  State,  and  signed  by  Daniel  D. 
Tompkins,  Chancellor  of  the  University  of  the  State  of  New  York  ;  H. 
Bloodgood,  secretary. 

In  the  charter  the  following  persons  are  named  as  constituting  the  fir.st 
board  of  trustees,  viz.  : 

Westel  Willoughby,  Jun.,  Jonathan  Sherwood,  Luther  Giteaii,  Solomon  Wolcot, 
Isaac  Sears,  Abijah  Tombling,  Amos  Hale,  Simeon  Ford,  Clark  Smith,  Joseph  White, 
Alexander  G.  Fonda,  Oliver  C.  Comstock,  John  Miller,  Isaac  Sargeaut,  Reuben  Hart, 
Amasa  Trowbridge,  Francis  A.  Bloodgood,  William  D.  Ford,  James^Kennedy,  Oliver 
Ellis,  Andrew  A.  Bartow,  William  Smith,  John  Stearns  and  James  Hale;  they  and  their 
successors  were  to  have  perpetual  succession. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  board  of  trustees,  held  December  i,  181 2,  the 
following  individuals  were  appointed  officers  of  the  college,  viz.  : 

Lyman  Spalding,  professor  of  anatomy  and  surgery  ;  Westel  Will- 
oughby, jr. ,  professor  of  obstetrics  ;  James  Hadley,  professor  of  chem- 
istry ;  John  Stearns,  professor  of  the  theory  and  practice  of  physic. 

The  class  of  1812-13,  ^^  appears  by  the  records,  consisted  of  eight- 
een medical  students.  During  the  session  of  1813-14  it  numbered 
twenty- four. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  board,  March  23,  1815,  T.  Romeyn  Beck  was 
recommended  to  the  honorable  regents  to  fill  the  office  of  professor  of 
the  institutes  of  medicine. 

January  30,  1816,  the  degree  of  doctor  of  medicine  was  conferred  on 
two  individuals,  viz.:  Horatio  Orvis  and  Sylvester  Miller.  Dr.  Beck 
gave  his  first  course  on  medical  jurisprudence.  Number  of  students, 
28  ;  4  graduates. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  board,  May  20,  1817,  Dr.  Joseph  White,  of 
Cherry  Valley,  was  appointed  president  and  professor  of  anatomy  and 
surgery  in  the  college  in  place  of  Dr.  Spalding.      At  the  same  meeting 


FAIRFIELD  MEDICAL  COLLEGE.  173 

it  was  resolved  that  President  White  have  leave  to  substitute  his  son, 
Deles  White,  M.  D.,  to  deliver  lectures  on  anatomy  in  his  stead. 

January  20,  1818,  the  class  consisted  of  41  students,  of  whom  7  were 
considered  worthy  of  the  degree  of  doctor  of  medicine. 

January  19,  1819,  a  resolution  was  passed  by  the  board  of  trustees 
dismissing  any  student  who  should  be  concerned,  directly  or  indirectly, 
in  digging  up  any  dead  human  body  for  the  purpose  of  dissection  in 
the  college. 

January  20,  1820,  the  Legislature  was  petitioned  for  a  law  for  giving 
the  dead  bodies  of  unclaimed  convicts  of  the  State  prison  at  Auburn 
to  the  college,  for  the  purposes  of  dissection. 

January  23,  1821,  Dr.  Delos  White  resigned  his  professorship  of  an- 
atomy, in  conseqence  of  the  difficulty  of  procuring  subjects  for  dissec- 
tion. The  same  year  it  was  resolved  to  extend  the  course  of  lectures 
from  twelve  to  sixteen  weeks. 

January  22,  1822,  James  McNaughton,  M.  D.,  was  made  professor  of 
anatomy  and  physiology.     Sixty-two  students  ;    14  graduates. 

For  several  years  subsequent  to  this  period  the  affairs  of  the  college 
continued  to  prosper  and  the  number  of  students  to  increase.  At  the 
close  of  the  session  ending  in  January,  1827,  Joseph  White,  M.  D.,  in 
consequence  of  age  and  infirmities,  resigned  his  professorship,  and  was 
succeeded  in  the  chair  of  surgery  by  John  Delamater,  M.  D.  Number 
of  students  in  attendance  this  session,  144;  graduates,  25.  In  conse- 
quence of  the  increase  of  students  an  additional  college  edifice  was 
erected  containing  thirty- two  lodging  rooms,  and  the  lecture  rooms 
of  the  old  college  edifice  were  enlarged  and  rendered  more  commodious. 

In  1828  the  number  of  students  was  171  ;   graduates,  33. 

In  1832  the  number  of  students  had  increased  to  205  ;   graduates,  39. 

The  largest  class  ever  assembled  at  the  college  was  during  the 
session  ending  in  January,  1834,  when  the  number  reached  217,  of 
whom  55  received  the  degree  of  doctor  of  medicine.  The  following 
year  the  number  was  198. 

The  organization  of  the  medical  department  of  Geneva  College,  and 
subsequently  the  incorporation  of  a  medical  college  in  the  city  of  Al- 
bany, together  with  other  causes,  had  the  effect  to  diminish  the  number 
of  students  in  attendance  at  the  Fairfield  college  from  the  year  1834 


174  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

until  the  final  suspension  of  lectures  in  the  latter  institution  by  the 
faculty;  yet  the  numbers  continued  to  be  respectable,  and  probably 
would  have  been  until  the  present  time  had  the  proper  efforts  been  con- 
tinued to  sustain  it.  During  the  year  1836  the  regents  confirmed  the 
following  alterations,  by  which  the  professorships  stood  as  follows: 

Westel  Willoiigliliy,  M.  D.,  emeritus  professor  of  midwifery. 
James  Hadley,  M.  D.,  professor  of  chemistry  and  pharmacy. 
T.  Romeyn  Beck,  M.  D.,  professor  of  materia  iriedica  and  medical  jurisprudence. 
James  MoNaugliton,  M.  D.,  professor  of  anatomy  and  physiology. 
John  Delamater,  M.  D.,  professor  of  practice  of  physic  and  diseases  of  women  and 
children. 

Reuben  D.  Mussey,  M.  D.,  profe.'ssor  of  surgery  and  mid%vifery. 

Subsequently,  Frank  H.  Hamilton,  M.  D.,  succeeded  Professor  Mus- 
sey in  the  chair  of  surgery,  and  witii  this  exception  the  faciilt\'  remained 
as  above  during  the  operation  of  the  institution.  The  last  course  of 
lectures  was  given  during  the  winter  of  1839-40.  The  number  of  stu- 
dents in  attendance  was  105,  of  whom  26  received  the  degree  of  doctor 
of  medicine.  After  the  cessation  of  medical  lectures  the  college  build- 
ings were  changed  to  adapt  them  for  the  extension  of  Fairfield  Acad- 
emy. (See  history  of  that  institution.)  Lyman  Spaulding,  M.  D.,  was 
the  first  president  of  the  college,  and  was  succeeded  in  office  by  Joseph 
White,  M.  D.,  in  18 17,  who  resigned  in  1827.  The  venerable  Professor 
Willoughby  succeeded  Dr.  White  and  held  the  office  until  his  decease. 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS. 


CHAPTER  X. 

TME    TOWN    OF    GERMAN    FLATS,' 

THE  town  of  German  Flats  lies  in  the  southern  central  part  of  Herki- 
mer county,  and  is  bounded  on  the  north  by  the  Mohawk  River; 
on  the  east  by  Little  Falls  ;  southerly  by  the  towns  of  Warren  and  Co- 
himbia,  and  westerly  by  Frankfort.  A  broad  and  fertile  intervale  lies 
along  the  river,  from  which  the  surface  rises  gradually  to  a  height  of  300 
to  400  feet  and  stretches  away  in  a  hilly  upland.  Fulmer's  Creek  di- 
vides the  upland  into  two  nearly  equal  parts.  Steele's  Creek  flows 
through  the  western  part. 

This  town  was  originally  formed  as  the  "  fifth,  or  German  Flats  dis- 
trict "  of  Tryon  county,  March  24,  1772,  and  was  recognized  as  a  town 
on  the  7th  of  March,  1788.  In  1796  the  towns  of  Frankfort,  Litchfield 
and  Warren  were  taken  off,  and  in  1829  a  part  of  Little  Falls.  When 
the  town  was  erected  (1788)  it  comprised  all  that  portion  of  Mont- 
gomery county  south  of  the  Mohawk  River,  bounded  easterly  by  Cana- 
joharie  (the  western  bounds  of  that  town  being  the  Susquehanna  River, 
Otsego  Lake,  and  a  line  from  the  head  waters  of  the  lake  to  the  Little 
Falls) ;  south  by  the  north  line  of  the  town  of  Otsego,  running  from  the 
head  waters  of  Otsego  Lake,  in  the  patent  granted  to  George  Croghan 
and  others,  along  the  northerly  bounds  of  that  patent  to  the  north- 
west corner  of  it  and  extending  westerly  to  the  river,  and  along  the 
northerly  line  of  the  Edminston  patent;  westerly  by  the  west  line  of 
the  town  of  Herkimer  continued  south  to  the  town  of  Otsego,  or  in 
other  words  nearly  by  the  present  eastern  bounds  of  Oneida  county. 
Besides  the  towns  before  mentioned  these  boundaries  included  a  part  of 
Otsego  county.  The  present  area  of  the  town  is  nearly  20,000  acres, 
and  comprises  a  large  portion  of  the  Burnetsfield  patent ;   nearly  all  of 

'  In  arrangement  of  the  following  town  histories  it  was  deemed  advisable  to  take  the  older  and 
more  historically  important  towns  first,  rather  than  to  follow  the  chronological  order  of  their 
formation.  The  reader  should  also  bear  in  mind  that  the  personal  history  of  each  town  is  largely 
augmented  by  the  sketches  in  the  last  department  of  the  volume. 


176  HISTORY  OP  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Staley's  first  tract ;   the  whole  of  Frank's  patent,  and  a  part  of  the  Guy 
Johnson  tract. 

To  this  town  and  in  the  vicinity  of  the  "  old  stone  church  "  came 
some  of  the  early  Palatine  settlers.  Near  the  site  of  the  church  the 
first  settlers  built  a  school- house  of  logs  before  the  year  1730,  which  was 
probably  used  by  the  God-fearing  Germans  for  worship  until  their  first 
church  was  erected,  the  predecessor  of  the  stone  church.  The  ground 
on  which  the  school  house  was  built  had  been  assigned  to  Nicholas 
Wollaber,  grandfather  of  the  Nicholas  who  died  at  a  venerable  age  in 
1861.  On  the  little  creek  just  east  of  the  stone  church  the  Germans 
also  built  a  grist-mill  before  the  year  1730  (probably  in  1725),  and  "it 
was  without  doubt  the  first  mill  erected  within  the  present  limits  of  the 
county.  Both  the  school-house  and  the  mill  are  referred  to  in  the  deed 
of  Nicholas  Wollaber  given  for  the  site  of  the  present  stone  church, 
which  is  dated  September  24,  1730.^  In  the  first  church  erected  on 
this  site  were  pews,  or  seats,  to  which  the  people  held  title,  as  seen  by 
the  will  of  Nicholas  Feller,  who  gave  to  his  grandson,  John  Nicholas 
Christman,  son  of  John  Christman,  his  pew  in  the  church  which  he 
called  his  "  seat  or  place  in  our  church." 

Here  those  early  German  settlers,  descendants  of  some  of  whom  are 
still  residents  in  this  county,  and  in  a  few  instances  on  the  same  lands 
on  which  their  remote  ancestors  dwelt,  enjoyed  a  period  of  repose  and 
prosperity  of  thirty  years,  to  be  rudely  disturbed  by  the  incursion  of  the 
French  and  Indians  in  1757,  who  destroyed  crops,  cattle  and  carried 
away  many  of  the  people  as  prisoners.  Among  these  was  John  Jost 
Petri,  probably  the  foremost  man  in  the  settlement  at  that  time.  Saw- 
mills and  grist-mills  were  burned,  the  sites  of  some  of  which  are  known. 
A  grist-mill  on  Steele's  Creek,  where  is  now  the  village  of  Ilion,  was 
destroyed,  as  shown  in  the  following  descriptive  language  in  a  French 
record  of  a  journey  through  the  valley,  from  which  we  have  quoted  in 
an  earlier  chapter  : 

Continuing  along  the  high  road  wliich  is  on  the  right  bank  of  the  river  Mohawk,  to 
go  to  Fort  Kouari  [Herkimer]  a  creek  is  met  [Steele's]  that  must  be  forded.  Here  was 
a  grist-mill  that  has  been  burnt.  One  league  before  reaching  Fort  Kouari  another 
small  stream  is  encountered  [Fulmer's  CreekJ  over  which  there  is  a  bridge.   This  stream 

'  Samuel  Earl's  papers. 


:.^  j^^^^l^^^ 


I 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  177 

is  fordable  almost  at  all  seasons.     There  was  also  a  saw-mill  on  this  creek  which  had 
lieen  burnt. 

Another  grist-mill  burned  was  on  lands  of  the  late  Frederick  P.  Bel- 
linger, on  the  north  side  of  the  river.      (See  history  of  Herkimer.) 

Among  the  German  families  who  settled  in  German  Flats,  and  mainly 
in  the  eastern  part,  were  those  of  Woolaber,  Stelly.  Wolever,  Erghemar, 
Bellinger,  Fox,  Edich,  Staring,  Shoemaker,  and  others;  many  of  these 
names  have  since  been  changed  in  orthography  to  conform  to  English 
pronunciation. 

The  stone  church  at  Fort  Herkimer  was  erected  in  1751-53,  the  pre- 
cise time  not  being  known,  and  formed  a  part  of  the  stockaded  defense 
built  under  the  administration  of  Sir  William  Johnson  in  1756.  After 
using  the  log  church  at  first  erected  for  about  a  quarter  of  a  century, 
the  thrifty  Germans  began  to  feel  the  need  of  more  commodious  quar- 
ters, and  in  pursuance  of  their  object  issued  the  following  petition  : 

To  his  Excellency,  the  Honourable  George  Clinton,  Captain-General  and  GoTernor-in- 
Chief  of  the  province  of  New  York  and  Territories  thereon  depending  in  America, 
Vice-Admiral   of  the  same,  and  Admiral  of  the  White  Squadron  of  his  Majesty's 
Fleet: 
The  humble  petition  of  Johan  Joost  Herchheimer,  of  Burnet's  Field,  in  the  County 
of  Albany,  yeoman,  in   behalf  of  himself  and  the  rest  of  the  inhabitants.  High  Ger- 
mans living  here,  humbly  sheweth  : 

That  your  petitioner  and  sundry  other  High  Germans  to  the  number  of  one  hundred 
families  and  upwards,  at  present  resident  at  Burnet's  Field,  in  this  prOTince,  propose, 
with  your  Excellency's  permission,  to  erect  a  Stone  Church  on  the  South  side  of  the 
River,  upon  a  convenient  spot  of  ground  already  purchased  by  the  Inhabitants,  for  the 
Worship  of  Almighty  God,  according  to  the  discipline  of  the  Reformed  Protestant 
Dutch  Church.  But  finding  themselves  unable  alone  to  finish  and  complete  the  same, 
your  petitioner  therefore,  in  behalf  of  the  said  Inhabitants,  humbly  prays  your  Excel- 
lency will  be  favorably  pleased  to  grant  a  Brief  or  Lycense  to  crave  the  voluntary  as- 
sistance and  contribution  of  all  well  disposed  persons  within  this  province,  for  com- 
pleting the  said  structure  altogether  intended  for  Divine  Worship. 
And  your  petitioner,  as  in  duty  bound,  shall  ever  pray,  etc. 

Johan  Joost  Hercheimer. 
Fort  George, 
in 
New  York, 
October  6,  1751. 
Be  it  so. 

G.  Clinton. 
23 


178  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNT-V. 

George  Clinton  wasted  no  words  in  giving  his  permission,  and  the 
paper  was  circulated  for  subscriptions.  The  building  of  the  church 
was  begun  about  the  date  of  the  petition,  but  it  was  not  finished  when 
the  French  and  Indian  invasion  of  1757  occurred.  After  that  dis- 
astrous event,  which  brought  poverty  upon  the  people,  they  applied  for, 
and  received  from,  Sir  Henry  Moore,  then  governor  of  the  colony,  a 
license  to  solicit  subscriptions  to  complete  the  church.  The  subscrip- 
tion paper  read  as  follows  : 

TO  ALL  Christian  People  to  whom  this  shall  come.  Whereas,  the  Inliabitants  on 
the  South  side  of  the  River  of  Burnet's  Field,  on  the  German  Flatts,  whereas,  we  are 
about  to  erect  a  Church  wherein  the  High  Dutch  Language  in  the  Prodestant  way 
.should  be  preached.  Before  the  late  war,  and  when  the  war  begun,  we  was  obliged  to 
leave  of  building,  and  in  the  war  everything  was  discharged,  and  a.s  we  where  desirous 
to  have  a  place  of  worship,  we  have  begun  to  build  a  Church,  but  we  find  ourselfs  not 
abel  to  finish  the  same,  occasioned  by  the  troubles  we  had  in  the  war,  that  is  to  say,  all 
our  Houses  and  Barns,  with  all  we  had  in  them,  where  burnt,  and  our  Horses  and 
Catties  where  killed  and  takeing  away,  and  a  great  many  of  our  People  takeing  Pris- 
oners by  the  Enemy,  which  has  unabled  us  to  finish  the  Church.  For  them  Reasons 
we  have  desired  two  of  our  members,  that  is  to  say,  Johan  Jost  Herkemer  and  Hen- 
drick  Bell,  to  try  to  collect  some  money  of  all  good  people  to  enable  us  to  have  our 
Church  finished,  and  we  hope  all  good  people  will  take  our  cause  in  consideration,  as 
we  have  no  place  of  Worship  now  but  a  small  Log  House. 

We  are,  in  behalf  of  the  Congregation  and  ourselfs,  Gentlemen, 

Your  Most  Humble  Servants, 

AuGoSTENis  Hess, 
rodolf   schomaker, 
Peter  Vols. 
N.  B. — I,  being  old  and  unable,  I  therefore  send   Peter  Vols  to  do  the  business  of 
collecting  for  me.  Johann  Jost  Hercheimer,  Just. 

This  appeal  secured  the  needed  funds  and  the  church  was  finished 
in  1767.      Its  further  history  will  appear  a  little  later  in  these  pages. 

The  church  as  it  was  finished  at  that  time  was  one  story  high  and 
forty-eight  by  fifty-eight  feet  on  the  ground,  the  walls  being  supported 
by  heavy  abutments  at  the  corners.  The  door  was  on  the  north  side, 
and  on  the  keystone  of  the  arch  over  the  door  were  the  initials, 
J.  H.  E.  s.  q.  1767. 

Fort  Herkimer,  which  constituted  an  important  part  of  the  frontier 
defense,  embraced  a  large  stone  house,  probably  erected  as  early  as 
1740,  and   three  other  stone   buildings,  one  of  which   was  the  church 


TOWN  05-  GERMAN  FLATS.  179 

still  standing  ;  another  situated  about  half  a  mile  east  of  the  church  on 
what  has  been  known  as  the  Steele  farm,  and  the  third  about  three- 
quarters  of  a  mile  farther  east,  on  the  Snell  farm.  The  church  was 
surrounded  by  an  earthwork  by  Sir  William  Johnson  in  1756.  The 
first-named  stone  building  was  described  by  the  late  Mrs.  Margaret 
Cristman,  of  Mohawk,  in  the  following  language : 

The  building  was  of  stone,  forty  feet  wide  and  seventy  feet  long,  two  stories  high  with 
a  basement.  The  roof  was  very  steep  and  covered  with  oak  shingles  three  feet  long. 
The  walls  of  the  building  were  over  two  feet  thick,  pierced  with  six  windows,  six  port 
holes  and  a  door  on  the  front  or  north  side,  besides  the  front  windows  in  the  basement, 
wide  enough  to  drive  a  team  through.  The  basement  was  under  the  east  end  of  the 
building,  and  under  the  west  half  of  the  house  was  the  cellar,  each  about  thirty-five 
feet  square.  The  only  opening  in  the  west  end  was  a  square  window  in  the  upper 
story.  The  main  entrances  to  the  building  were  two  doors,  one  on  the  south  and  the 
other  on  the  north  side.  The  hallway,  running  through  the  middle  of  the  building 
from  north  to  south,  was  about  twelve  feet  wide.  Near  the  north  entrance,  which  was 
then  the  front,  were  two  doors,  one  opening  into  the  east  and  the  other  into  the  west 
room,  the  house  being  divided  into  two  rooms  on  the  main  floor,  and  the  east  room  sub- 
divided into  a  large  kitchen,  a  small  bedroom  and  a  pantry.  A  little  further  on  in  the 
hall  was  the  grand  staircase,  broad  and  easy  of  ascent,  made  of  white  oak,  leading  to  the 
second  story,  which  was  divided  into  three  rooms,  a  bedroom  over  the  hall  at  the  head 
of  the  stairs,  and  a  large  room  in  each  end  of  the  house.  The  broad  old  fireplaces, 
both  in  the  lower  and  the  upper  rooms,  with  "pot  hook  and  trammel,"  and  the  tradi- 
tional back  log  and  forestick  blazing  upon  the  old  andirons  on  a  cold  day,  gave  the 
grand  old  rooms  an  air  of  comfort  and  cheerfulness. 

The  French  record  before  quoted  says  of  this  fortification  : 

It  was  built  as  a  store  and  depot  for  Chouegen  (Oswego).  It  is  surrounded  by  a 
ditch  about  thirty  feet  distant.  This  ditch  was  six  feet  deep  and  seven  feet  wide.  The 
crown  of  the  ditch  inside  is  planted  with  palisades  in  an  oblique  form  ;  they  are  well 
jointed  the  one  to  the  other.  Behind  these  there  is  a  parapet  of  earth,  so  as  to  be  able 
to  fire  over  the  palisade.  The  four  angles  of  this  parapet,  which  is  at  the  back  of  the 
ditch,  form,  as  it  were,  four  little  bastions  that  reciprocally  flank  each  other.  (See 
illustration,  page  59.) 

It  will  be  seen  that  this  was  a  fortification  of  considerable  preten- 
sions, both  as  to  size  and  impregnability  against  the  arms  of  those  days. 
The  other  two  buildings  farther  east  were  probably  similar  in  their  con- 
struction. Into  these  the  inhabitants  fled  and  found  refuge  when  at- 
tacked, or  before  expected  attacks,  by  their  foes.  Such  a  course  was 
followed  in  1757,  and  the  lives  of  many  of  the  inhabitants  were  thereby 
saved,  to   witness   the   burning   of  some   of   their   dwellings  and   their 


l80  HISTORY  OF  HKRKIMER  COUNTY. 

mills,  the  French  commander  showing  discretion  in  not  attacking  the 
fort. 

In  the  War  of  the  Revolution  those  loyal  German  settlers,  who  did 
not  hesitate  to  espouse  the  cause  of  freedom,  suffered  grievously  for 
their  patriotism,  and  in  September,  1778,  Brant,  with  his  tories  and  In- 
dians, fell  upon  the  prosperous  settlement  and  destroyed  it  complete!)', 
as  we  have  related  in  the  early  pages  of  this  volume.  Again  in  17S2 
the  fair  valley  in  this  vicinity  was  swept  over  by  the  enemy,  numbering 
about  six  hundretl  tories  and  Indians.  They  were  first  discovered  by 
Peter  Wolever,  who,  with  Augustinus  Hess,  lived  about  fifty  rods  from 
the  fort.  Both  families  were  aroused,  and  all  reached  the  fort  e.Ncept 
Mr.  Mess,  who  was  killed  just  as  he  was  entering  the  gate.  The  fort 
was  at  that  time  only  feebly  garrisoned,  and  the  few  troops  could  not 
assume  the  offensive.  Valentine  Staring  was  captured  in  a  field  not  far 
from  the  stockade  and  put  to  the  torture  with  the  object  of  drawing  out 
the  garrison  by  his  cries  for  help;  but  this  did  not  produce  the  desired 
result  and  he  was  tomahawked  and  scalped.  Two  of  the  soldiers  and 
these  two  inhabitants  were  killed.  All  the  buildings  in  the  settlement, 
excepting  George  Herkimer's  house,  were  burned  and  the  cattle  driven 
away.  This  incident  was  described  to  the  late  Judge  Benton  by  Nich- 
olas Wolever,  in  the  lifetime  of  the  latter,  then  living  at  HerKimer,  and 
is  undoubtedly  authentic,  although  it  has  received  little  or  no  attention 
from  other  writers.  The  wife  of  Henry  Wetherstone,  who  had  incau- 
tiously gone  into  a  field  on  this  occasion,  was  captured  by  Indians,  tom- 
ahawked and  scalped,  and,  as  they  supposed,  her  body  left  for  dead. 
She  recovered  and  lived  many  years  after  her  long  tress  of  hair  had 
been  carried  away  as  a  trophy. 

Fort  Herkimer,  it  has  been  seen,  was  a  noted  station  in  the  early 
history  of  the  valley,  and  guarded  a  section  that  was  more  frequently 
than  any  other  made  to  feel  the  ruthless  blows  of  the  natives  and  their 
no  less  relentless  white  allies.  In  June,  1785,  the  Tuscaroras  and  the 
Oneidas  met  at  the  fort  and  ceded  to  New  York  all  their  territory  lying 
between  the  Chenango  and  Unadilla  Rivers.  Here,  also,  in  1775,  was 
raised  the  first  liberty  pole  in  the  State  and  the  second  one  in  the  coun- 
try ;  and  Alexander  White,  sheriff  of  Tryon  county,  a  great  stickler 
for  the  honor  of  his  sovereign   master,  heard  of  the  "  daring  outrage," 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  ISi 

as  he  termed  it,  summoned  a  posse,  marched  to  the  fort  and  made  a 
bonfire  of  the  pole  and  banner. 

At  the  close  of  the  war  the  Herkimer  family  again  occupied  their 
mansion  and  the  settlers  took  up  their  peaceful  labors.  Previous  to 
that  the  highway  ran  along  down  under  the  hill  a  mile  west  of  the  fort, 
then  turned  gradually  and  followed  up  the  Shoemaker  road  to  Steele's, 
and  so  on  easterly.  When  the  original  canal  was  built  the  south  bank 
came  within  about  eight  feet  of  the  old  fort,  and  when  the  enlargement 
was  made  its  south  line  took  in  nearly  one  half  of  the  old  Herkimer 
building.  The  property  was  then  owned  by  Bethel  Palmer,  who  sold 
it  to  the  State. 

On  account  of  the  destruction  of  the  records  in  1843,  we  are  able  to 
give  only  the  following  list  of  supervisors  of  the  town  from  its  organi- 
zation to  the  present  time  : 

1791,  Frederick  Fox;  1793,  Peter  Smith;  1794,  William  Clapsaddle  ;  179.5,  Ludwick 
Campbell;  1797,  George  Rosecrantz;  1798,  William  Clapsaddle;  1801,  George  Rose- 
crantz;  1803, '17, '21,  Christopher  P.  Bellinger;  1810, '19.  Rudolph  I.  Shoemaker; 
1811, '14, 'Thomas  Paine;  1815,  Nicholas  Casler;  1824,  Jacob  F.  Christman;  1825, 
Robert  Shoemaker;  1827,  Daniel  Dygert;  1830,  George  Fox;  1832,  G.  I.  Stranahan ; 
1834,  John  Wightman;  1S3G, '48,  John  Shoemaker,  jr. ;  1837,  Elias  Root ;  1840,  Fred- 
erick Bellinger;  1842,  John  Golden  ;  1844,  George  H.  Fox;  1845,  F.  E.  Spinner;  1846, 
John  Strong ;  1850,  Calvin  A.  Griffith;  1853,  Joseph  N.  Wightman;  1855,  Benjamin  ' 
Carver;  1856,  William  Spoonenburgh ;  1857,  Ezekiel  Spencer;  1860,  John  Crist;  1861, 
Liberty  L.  Lowell;  1864,  James  M.  Dygert ;  1865,  James  E  Casey;  1866,  Amos  H. 
Prescott  ;  1868,  Alfred  E.  Brooks;  1870,  J.  B.  Pel  ton  ;  1871,  Sandford  Getman ;  1872, 
Albert  M.  Ross;  1874,  James  Vickerman;  1875,  Charles  W.  Smith;  1876,  Hamlin  B. 
Maben  ;  1877,  James  M.  Clough;  1878,  '81,  Albert  M.  Ross  ;  1882,  '84,  C.  S.  Jepson; 
1885,  Samuel  T.  Russell ;  1S86,  '87,  Addison  Brill ;  1888,  '89,  H.  D.  Jennings ;  1890,  '92, 
James  Conkling. 

Among  the  prominent    families  of  Germans  who  settled  in  this  town 
long   before   the    Revolutionary  War  was  that  of  John  Michael  Edich.     1/ 
He  had  lot  No.  33,  which    remained    in   the   family  many  years.      His 
grandson,  Michael,  was  born   there  in  1734,  and  was  a  captain   in   the 
militia  in  the  Revolution. 

To  Jacob  Folts  was  assigned  lot  No.  3,  which  is  within  the  limits  of 
the  town  of  Frankfort.  Lot  No.  41  was  assigned  to  Joseph  Staring, 
and  remained  in  the  possession  of  his  descendants  until  recent  years. 
To  Frederick   Bellinger   was   assigned    lot   No.  35,  which   has   also  re- 


l82  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

mained  in  tlie  family  more  than  a  century;  and  others  might  be 
mentioned  who  have  kept  the  homes  of  their  ancestors  through  all  the 
changes  that  have  occurred  since  the  first  settlements  in  the  valley. 

As  giving  not  only  a  quaint  description  of  book-keeping  methods 
and  lists  of  articles  purchased  in  a  country  store  in  olden  times,  but 
also  the  names  of  many  of  the  early  settlers,  the  following  will  be  of 
great  interest  ;  it  is  taken  from  an  old  ledger  in  which  were  kept  the 
accounts  of  James  Van  Home,  one  of  the  first  general  merchants  in  the 
town.  The  store  was  near  the  locks  of  the  Inland  Lock  Navigation 
Company,  which  were  directly  north  of  the  present  canal  locks  at 
Fort  Herkimer : 

1776,  Jacob  Weaber;  1789,  Isaiah  Wright;  October  14,  "  to  my  horse  twice  to  Steale's 
mill.s,  2s;  one  quart  Cyder,  Od;  one  schipple  apples,  4s;  one  pound  hog's  fat,  2s;  one 
Nip  grog,  6d  ;  to  the  use  of  my  Blacksmith  tools  from  20th  to  30th  December,  1797, 
wlien  you  run  away  —  " 

Against  Conrad  Frank:  1774 — May  13,  to  2  gallons  rum,  28  6d;  July,  J  pint  rum, 
6d  ;  Oct.  1,  qt  rum,  Is  4d  ;  Dec.  28,  1  quart  old  and  1  quart  n  rum,  3s;  1775 — April 
18,  to  4  bowls  toddy,  4s. ;  June  24,  1  pint  of  wine,  Is  6d  ;  July  13,  to  1  qt  of  W.  I. 
rum,  Is  9d;  Sept  18,  1  gal.  of  rum,  5s;  Dec.  20,  to  IJ  gall'n  rum  pr  David  Schuy- 
ler, 8s.  ;  May  15,  to  "Cash  paid  Dr.  Jacob  Petrie  for  1  Glass  of  Bolsom  Damalta  and 
Bleeding,  5s  ;  "  Aug.  20,  "  to  sch  of  Wheat,  1  Quart  W.  I.  Rum,  4s  Gd  ;"  Nov.,  "  to  Cash 
p'd  John  Smith  for  1  pint  Rum  when  you  was  wounded,  Is  6d." 

Against  Christopher  P.  Yates:  1781 — ''Feb.,  to  flourof  25  Schipples  of  Wheat  which 
you  took  at  Vanslikes  Mill  £C  5s;  to  4  Bbls  which  the  flour  was  in,  a  3s,  12s;  "  1785 
178G — "  to  3  Wolf's  Certificates  del'd  you  when  I  was  Supervisor,  £3." 

Against  Duncan  McDougal :  1775 — Deo.  14,  to  1  otter  skin,  24s;  3  martin  skins,  9s; 
1782— February,  to  2  bowls  grog,  3s;  1786— March  1,  2,  4,  to  12  bowls  toddy,  12s;  2 
slings,  Is;  2  qts  cider,  Is;  3  meals  victuals,  3s;  to  1  bowl  grog  in  June,  1776, — ;  1791 — 
June  10,  to  1  dinner,  Is,  and  horse-keeping,  2s  3d. 

Against  John  N.  Castlear:  177C  to  1786 — Account  for  rum  and  grog,  £1  13s  8d. 

Against  Henery  Ilarkimer,  sen.:  1778 — May,  "to  Liquor  in  Club  at  Election  for 
Governor,  9s  4d ;   1779 — Nov.,  to  6  quarts  Cyder  for  Nicholas,  3s." 

Against  Col.  Henery  K.  Van  Rensselaer:  1779 — From  the  26th  Aug.  to  26tli  Sept., 
"  to  33  Mugs  Cyder,"  ISs  4d;  Oct.  8,  to  24  skipples  winter  apples,  a  Is  6d,  £1  16s:  to 
14  days  1  horse  in  pasture,  38 ;  Nov.  19,  to  yarn  for  mittens,  2s;  "to  21  mugs  Cyder 
dinerent  times  8s  9d ;  "  Dec.  20,  "  to  2  Bbls  Cyder  24s  ;  26th,  7i  Mugs  Cyder,  3s 
lid.' 

Against  Conrad  C.  Folts:   1785 — Accounts  amounting  to  £2  6s  3d. 

Against  "  George  Weaber  (my  brother  in  law) :  "  1784 — Here  follows  a  long  account 
in  which  appear  4  ells  corduroy,  24s;  1  ell  blue  shalloon,  3s  6d  ;  2  nips  grog.  Is;  3 
Knives  &  3  forks  at  Robinsons,  3s;   1  gill  brandy,  etc. 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  183 

Against  Thomas  Folmers :  1775— Account  for  £1  16s  3d,  nearly  all  ''Nips  of 
Grog." 

Against  Jest  Schuyler:  1788 — July  17,  to  judgment  before  Squire  Myers,  17s; 
1789 — Feb.  I,  to  2  nips  grog.  Is;  1  quart  spirits,  2s  Gd ;  1  quart  cider,  6d ;  1791 — Feb. 
1,  to  1  gill  rum,  Gd. 

Then  follow  similar  accounts  of  Philip  Gailoch,  John  Smitli,  John 
Myers,  Gershom  Skinner,  Simeon  Barker,  Henry  Miller,  Conrad  P. 
Folts,  Susanah  Small,  John  S.  Frank.  George  Groundhart,  Jacob 
Christman,  John  Fox,  and  the  following: 

Against  Frederick  Jno.  Shoemaker:  1786— Dec.  18,  "To  2  Gall  N  Rum,  12s"; 
1788— March  22,  to  1  pint  W.  I.  rum,  7id;  July  20,  1  hat,  9s  9d ;  Aug.  12,  1  lb.  To- 
bacco, Is;  Sept.  2,  cash  8s;  Oct.  14,  1  "Check  Hhkf,  5s." 

Against  Jost  Dygert :  1789 — May  20,  "I  reed  Cash  for  Judgment  agt  him  in  full 
of  ray  act  to  this  date";  1790 — To  1  warrant,  Is;  August  11,  3  nips  grog,  Is  6d  ; 
179G — "To  1  peace  warrant  against  Coll  Rxhert  Petry,  Is  Gd ;  to  breaking  1  glass 
Tumpler,  2s,"  etc. — amounting  to  178  Gd. 

Against  Jacob  Woolhaver:  1788 — Nov.  10,  to  tobacco,  Is  6d  ;  Deo.  10,  3  ells  blue 
cloth,  19s  9d  ;  Dec.  12,  to  leather  for  1  pair  of  shoes,  7s;  1  pair  half  soles.  Is ;  to  sun- 
dries to  the  1st  Dec,  1788,  12s  5d. 

Then  follow  the  accounts  of  Russell  Furman,  Peter  S.  Dygert,  Henry 
P.  Dygert,  Phineas  Allen,  Nicholas  Christman,  Jost  Folts,  Thomas  Bell, 
Abraham  Woolhaver,  James  Forbush,  Timothy  Tuttle.  The  following 
items  are  charged  to  Rev.  Abraham  Rosecrants  : 

1788— April  13,  i  lb.  snuff,  3s;  July  8,  3  ells  Durant,  9s;  3  sticks  twist,  2s  3d;  July 
8,  1 J  yd  black  lace,  5s  S^d  ;  "2  skanes  silk,  2s  ;  1  lb.  shott,  Is  ";  i  lb.  powder,  2s  Gd . 
i  paper  pins,  9d. 

Against  James  Catlin  (Whitestown) :  1790 — Nov.  27,  "to  4  Nips  of  Grog  &  Cy- 
der, 2s  Gd;  2  Bowls  Grog  dancing  with  Smith,  2s." 

Against  AVilliam  Petry:  1788--Apl.  26,  to  1  bowl  sling,  Is;  "1  Qt  Bowl  you 
Broke,  2s ;  Aug.  13,  to  2  Gallons  Tar,  6s ;  1  Nip  Grog  &  2  Gills  rum,  9d ;  Jany  8,  to 
my  horse  to  ride  through  the  river,  Is ;  March  11,  to  cost  you  have  to  pay  at  your  suit 
against  Thomas  Casaty  in  Apl  16,  3s  4id  ;  to  cost  at  your  suit  against  Adam  Bearse, 
which  may  be  seen  in  ray  Records,  page  45,  12s  3d ;  to  cost  at  the  suit  of  Paltus  Brae- 
tenbreacher  against  your  father-in-law,  in  the  first  book,  page  34,  2s;  Oct  22,  To  use 
and  keeping  of  ray  purap  augur,  3s." 

Then  follow  the  accounts  of  John  Andrews,  Jost  Hess,  John  Weaber, 
Fawcet  Cox  and  Frederick  Bellinger,  the  latter  as  follows: 

1788 — June  1,  To  IJ  pints  n  rum.  Is  2d  ;  28,  1  nip  grog,  6d;  Dec.  2,  to  1  qt  u  rum. 
Is  Gd;  7th,  2  pair  Indian  shoes.  Gs  8d;  1  nip  grog,  Gd.  Mr.  Bellinger's  account  is 
quite  lengthy,  and  there  are  many  more  charges  for  "Nips  of  Grog,"  than  any  other 


184  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

one  tiling.  He  is  credited  on  account:  "By  riding  1  Hlid  Rum  from  Schenectady, 
12s;  by  8  days  huing  timber  for  my  horse  shed  &  4^  days  framing  the  same,  £1  12s; 
five  days  carpenter  work,  and  four  days  work  making  fraim  for  my  kitchen,  os  per  day." 

Next  come  the  accounts  of  Catharine  (George)  Hilts,  amounting  to  £3  6s  2id, 
"paid  in  Ginsang  at  different  times'';  Maria  (Catharine)  0.x,  Wesner  Spoon,  Elizabeth 
Small,  Mary  Small  (wlio  paid  her  account  in  spinning);  John  Bellinger,  Jacob  Bashorr 
(who  paid  his  bill  in  leather  for  a  "'  slay  tackling  ");  and  Timothy  Frank  (who  paid  his 
bill  in  1790  by  one  o.x  at  Xo  and  one  ox  at  £4  10s).  Frederick  "  Ohrendorph "  is 
charged,  among  other  things,  with  "  Egg  Punch,  Is;  1  bearl  for  the  use  of  beckel  cap- 
page"  [pickle  cabbage?]. 

John  Fox  is  charged  with  nips  of  grog,  nips  of  Sangaree,  nips  of  punch,  a  "  pinker 
knife"  he  broke,  "marrying  his  nigger,"  4  suppers,  etc.  Mr.  Fox's  bill  was  paid  as 
follows:  "By  playing  the  fittle,  12s;  by  one  nip  grog  had  in  1793,  6d  ;  by  Jack,  your 
nigger,  playing  for  a  company,'"  etc.  Christopher  P.  Fox  is  charged  with  snuff,  tea, 
grog,  rum,  breaking  a  b6wl  and  one  fife,  and  a  part  of  his  account  was  paid  in  work  on 
the  court-house  in  1796.  Conrad  Segner  Edward  Walker,  John  Brusler,  Christopher 
Ox,  Adam  Hartman,  George  Weaber,  are  next  on  the  ledger. 

"Jost  Harkimar "  is  charged  with  nips  of  sling,  nips  of  grog,  "Boals"  of  grog, 
wheat  to  be  returned  for  "soing,"  "2  shots  at  6d  each,"  rum,  cash,  costs  of  suit,  and 
other  things,  making  a  long  account,  which  was  paid  in  1791  in  sowing  "Pease,"  oats, 
wheat,  barley,  serving  warrants,  moving  wheat  and  "moing"  wheat,  and  cash. 

Then  comes  the  account  against  Rudolph  Schomaker,  who  is  charged  with  judgment 
before  Squire  Colbreath,  9s  lid  and  cost.  Is  9d ;  2  nips  grog,  2  nips  brandy  grog, 
"cash  at  Stone  Arabia  in  Fox's  House  (present  Flagg  &  Ittick),  Is";  "  cost  between 
you  and  your  brother  2  years  ago,  5s  6d  ";  1  dinner.  Is;  1  gill  bitters.  6d  ;  "cost  be- 
tween you  and  George  Clabsattle,  Is."  The  balance  of  the  long  account  is  "  Nips  of 
Grog,"  which  was  all  paid  in  cash. 

John  Petrie  is  charged  in  1790  with  "taking  affadid  in  respect  of  Demsitts  estate, 
Is."  Andrew  Dygert  is  charged  with  "  Rum,  pigtale  tobacco,  quart  Cyder  and  lodg- 
ing "  Next  are  the  names  of  Joseph  Cook,  Conrad  Kook,  Henry  A.  Cramer,  Nicholas 
N.  Staring,  George  F.  Helnier,  Joseph  Hines,  Christian  Drisselman,  John  Isdall,  Peter 
Flagg,  Adin  Fancher,  Nicholas  Wollhaver,  Samuel  Robertson  (who  paid  his  bill  in  doc- 
toring), Gershom  Reach,  William  Delaney,  Samuel  Pinker.  Jacob  Kunkabol. 

Robert  Bee,  says  the  merchant,  "agreed  with  me  for  one  year's  work  for  £2,5, 
and  Sept.  12  left  me  in  the  morning  before  1  was  out  of  bed."  Next  follows  an  ac- 
count against  Herkimer  county  for  work  on  the  court-house,  then  the  account  of  James 
Yule,  who  paid  a  part  of  his  bill  in  surveying  "  Lott  No.  14,  in  the  third  tract."  Chris- 
topher Rube  paid  his  bill  of  £10  15s  5d  in  bottoming  chairs  and  weaving.  Mrs.  Hol- 
teger  paid  her  bill  in  spinning  flax. 

There  is  a  wonderful  amount  of  information  in  the  old  ledger,  and  as 
this  was  the  first  store  in  German  Flats,  the  record  bears  an  added  in- 
terest. William  Small  and  James  Isdale  were  merchants  at  Fort  Her- 
kimer at  a  later  date.     The  first  tavern  kept  there,  as  far  as  known,  was 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS. 


185 


by  N.  Aldridge,  on  the  south  side  of  the  highway  ;  he  also  kept  a  store, 
and  "  shin-plasters  "  are  in  existence  issued  by  him.  Fort  Herkimer 
was  the  central  point  for  business  for  the  surrounding  country  for  many 
years,  its  situation  on  the  canal  of  the  Navigation  Company  giving  it 
that  prestige.  The  first  blacksmith  in  the  town,  Jacob  Phillips,  located 
here,  and  James  Campbell  came  a  little  later.  Benjamin  Fox  was  an 
early  tailor,  working  at  that  trade  in  1791,  and  later  had  a  blacksmith 
shop  near  the  church.  The  first  harnessmaker  mentioned  is  Jacob 
Bashorr,  and  the  first  shoemaker  was  Peter  WoUever,  while  Dr.  Sam- 
uel Robertson  appeared  in  1790  as  the  first  physician.  Frederick  Bell- 
inger and  Stephen  Wright  were  carpenters.  In  1792  Aaron  Wood  had 
a  small  tannery  here,  and  the  school  was  kept  by  Samuel  Edwards  and 
Pliilip  Peter  Cowder,  before  1800.  The  little  village  continued  to  pros- 
per until  the  diversion  of  travel  to  the  Mohawk  turnpike  along  the  north 
side  of  the  river.  This  was  the  end  of  its  prosperity,  and  the  place 
gradually  declined  in  its  business  enterprise,  until  it  has  reached  its 
present  condition. 

• 1.    _r  


/" 


Resuming  our  account  of 
the  old  Fort  Herkimer  church 
it  must  be  stated  that  the 
corporate  seal  of  the  church 
adopted  in  1796  gave  it  the 
name  of  "  The  Reformed  Pro- 
testant Dutch  Church  of  Ger- 
man Flats."  Long  previous 
to  that,  in  the  year  1753, 
Hans  Dedrich  Stelly  and  oth- 
ers deeded  to  Peter  Remsen, 

for  the  support  of  their  minister,  lots  45,  46,  and  47,  on  the  flats. 
No  records  of  membership  in  the  church  were  kept  during  the  early 
years  of  its  history,  but  in  the  Synod  of  18 12  an  order  was  made  that 
annual  reports  should  thereafter  be  returned.  The  first  regular  preacher 
was  probably  a  brother  of  Rev.  Abraham  Rosecrants,  as  his  biogra- 
pher says  he  succeeded  his  brother  in  1767.  Rev.  Abraham  Rosecrants 
faithfully  labored  here  from  that  year  until  1794,  a  period  of  twenty- 
seven  years.      He  was  an  educated  and  able  man,  and  became  connect- 

24 


186 


HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 


ed  with  the  Herkimer  family  by  marriage.  He  died  at  his  residence 
on  Fall  Hill,  in  the  present  town  of  Little  Falls,  at  the  close  of  the  last 
century. 

From  1794  to  1798  Rev.  Fitch  Romden,  of  Oneida,  preached  to  the 
settlers  occasionally,  and  in  the  latter  year  Rev.  Mr.  Pick,  of  Stone 
Arabia,  was  called  to  supply  the  pulpit,  which  he  did  until  1802,  when 
Rev.  John  P.  Spinner  was  called.  Mr.  Spinner  ministered  to  these  peo- 
ple for  forty-six  years.  He  emigrated  from  Germany  in  1801,  and 
landed  in   New  York  in  May.      He  was  educated  in  the  gymnasium  at 


Bishopslieim  and  the  university  at  Mentz,  and  in  1789  was  consecrated 
to  the  Roman  Catholic  church.  His  wife,  Mary  Magdale  Fedelis  Bru 
mante,  a  native  of  Loire,  accompanied  him  to  this  country.  Mr.  Spin- 
ner was  called  to  the  Fort  Herkimer  church  soon  after  his  arrival  in  the 
country,  and  with  the  exception  of  a  short  period  of  teaching,  contin- 
ued with  it  until  1848.  Nor  were  his  services  confined  to  this  par- 
ish, for  he  preached  to  congregations  in  Columbia,  Warren,  at  the  In- 
dian Castle,  Manheim,  Schuyler,  and  in  some  of  the  towns  of  adjoining 


f'tt-,       [/H^-f^ 


t-f^'f^et. 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  187 

counties,  besides  the  church  in  Herkimer  village.  He  was  thoroughly 
educated  and  his  sermons  were  often  eloquent  and  masterly.  Mr.  Spin- 
ner died  at  his  residence  in  Herkimer,  May  27,  1848,  aged  eighty  years. 
He  was  the  father  of  Hon.  Francis  E.  Spinner,  the  famous  secretary  of 
the  United  States  treasury  under  President  Lincoln,  and  the  family  is 
still  represented  in  the  county. ^  Mr.  Spinner  was  succeeded  in  the  pas- 
torate of  the  church  by  Rev.  J.  Stark,  who  came  about  four  years  after 
Mr.  Spinner  gave  up  the  charge.  Mr.  Stark  preached  five  years,  when 
there  followed  a  period  of  about  four  years  during  which  there  was 
no  regular  preacher,  and  in  1862  Mr.  Stark  returned,  preached  one 
year,  and  died  in  1863.  He  was  the  last  settled  pastor  of  the  once 
flourishing  congregation.  Since  that  time  the  pulpit  has  been  supplied 
at  intervals,  among  those  preaching  here  being  Revs.  J.  Petrie,  J.  J. 
Quick,  Rev.  Mr.  Consaul,  Rev.  Mr.  Todd,  William  Johns,  of  Little 
Falls,  and  others. 

The  financial  needs  of  the  church  were  largely  provided  for  by  the 
rental  of  lands  deeded  in  trust  for  that  purpose,  and  as  long  as  the  orig- 
inal lessees  lived  there  was  no  lack  of  means  for  the  support  of  the  gos- 
pel, no  matter  in  what  direction  the  necessary  expense  might  be  in- 
curred. In  the  time  of  Rev.  Mr.  Rosecrants,  the  rental  of  lands 
brought  in  a  revenue  of  $400  annually,  besides  the  large  amounts  usually 
raised  by  subscription.  At  the  installation  of  the  elders  and  deacons, 
on  the  29th  of  January,  1796,  by  Rev.  Charles  A.  Pick,  he  received  for 
his  services  ;^4  i6sand  6s  for  spreading  upon  the  book  of  minutes  the 
ordination  and  installation,  and  at  his  next  visit  to  this  place  he  received 
£2.  Rev.  Mr.  Spinner  received  a  salary  of  $700  per  annum,  besides 
funds  raised  by  subscription,  which  for  a  time  was  paid  him,  but  as  the 
collection  of  rentals  after  the  death  of  Mr.  Remsen  was  in  a  measure 
neglected,  and  the  estate  of  the  deceased  was  embarrassed  by  litigation, 
the  revenues  began  to  fall  off,  causing  quite  a  deficiency  in  meeting  the 
salary,  so  that  in  May,  1836,  there  was  due  Rev.  Mr.  Spinner  for  ser- 
vices rendered,  $1,324.10,  one  half  of  which  he  proposed  to  donate  to 
the  church,  provided  he  received  the  other  half.  The  litigation  in  re- 
lation to  the  lands  held  in  trust  lasted  for  several  years,  until  in  1851  an 

'  For  more  extended  notice  of  F.  E.  Spinner,  see  Biographical  Chapter  in  later  pages  of  this 
volume. 


188  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

act  of  the  Legislature  was  passed  authorizing  the  consistory  to  sell  a 
portion  of  the  lands.  Several  sales  were  made  under  this  act,  and  the 
money  invested,  the  interest  to  be  used  for  the  same  purpose  as  the 
rentals  or  incomes  of  leases.  In  1870  an  act  was  passed  enabling  the 
consistory  to  record  all  leases,  papers,  etc.,  belonging  to  the  church. 
Thus  the  munificent  gift  of  Nicholas  Wolever,  Hans  Dedrich  Stelly  and 
others,  dwindled  down  to  a  mere  pittance  in  the  space  of  one  hundred 
and  fifty-five  years,  and  at  present  this  is  only  a  missionary  field. 

After  settlers  first  located  at  Fort  Herkimer,  they  gradually  extended 
southward  over  the  hills  until  the  head  waters  of  Fulmer  Creek  were 
reached.  In  1797  Seth  Paine  settled  at  what  became  known  as  Paine's 
Hollow,  about  three  miles  south  of  the  river.  He  came  from  Windham 
county.  Conn.,  and  was  thirteen  days  reaching  Fort  Herkimer.  With 
him  came  his  sister,  his  wife  and  eleven  children,  five  of  whom  were 
sons.  In  the  spring  of  X797  the  Paines  had  five  acres  of  timber  cut 
down  and  they  invited  their  German  neighbors  to  a  logging  bee  and 
the  whole  five  acres  were  cleared  for  them  in  one  day.  In  the  summer 
of  1798  a  saw-mill  was  built  there,  and  not  long  afterward  Mr.  Paine 
built  a  grist-mill,  thus  saving  further  journeys  to  Little  Falls  or  Van 
Hornesville.  The  settlement  at  Paine's  Hollow  grew  and  comprised  at 
one  time  three  saw-mills,  the  grist-mill,  a  fulling-mill,  a  store,  tavern,  a 
post-office  and  about  two  hundred  inhabitants.  The  first  post-office  in 
the  town  was  here  and  was  called  German  Flats,  with  John  Paine  as 
postmaster.  Otis  Smith,  who  settled  here  at  about  the  same  time  with 
the  Paines,  was  the  mail  carrier  between  Little  Falls  and  Little  Lakes, 
now  in  the  town  of  Warren,  and  stopped  at  Paine's  Hollow  once  a  week. 
This  post-office  was  long  ago  discontinued  for  a  period,  but  has  been 
renewed  in  recent  years.  Nathan  Swift  is  the  present  postmaster ;  the 
post-office  is  now  in  Little  Falls,  just  across  the  line,  this  hamlet  being 
partly  in  that  town.  Very  little  business  is  now  done  at  Paine's  Hol- 
low. 

The  vicinity  of  what  has  been  known  as  Dennison's  Corners,  on  the 
southern  line  of  the  town,  was  first  settled  by  Benjamin  Whitman  (now 
spelled  and  pronounced  Wightman).  He  came  from  Connecticut  and 
was  a  Baptist  minister.  A  tavern  was  kept  very  early  at  this  point 
by  Stutely  Palmer,  and    Asahel  Wise  came   from   Vermont   and    built 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  189 

an  ashery ;  Henry  Raster  also  had  one.  The  settlement  was  at  first 
known  as  Whitmantown,  until  Stanton  Dennison  settled  there  and 
purchased  a  tract  of  640  acres.  The  hamlet  grew  to  considerable  im- 
portance and  a  post-office  was  established  with  Charles  Whitman  as 
postmaster  in  1847.  The  first  store  was  kept  by  John  I.  Christman. 
Among  other  early  settlers  at  this  point  were  Henry  Steele,  a  black- 
smith, Joseph  Noble,  and  the  Freeman,  Tisdale,  Thomas,  and  Hawks 
families,  all  from  Connecticut.  In  1834  Mr.  Dennison  "built  a  church, 
which  is  still  standing  and  used  at  intervals  by  the  Methodists.  In  1847 
Charles  Whitman  donated  the  lot  and  school- house  to  the  district. 

About  the  year  1800  Jason  Tiff  settled  at  the  mouth  of  Trout  Creek, 
two  and  a  half  miles  up  Fulmer  Creek  from  Mohawk,  and  there  built  a 
saw-mill,  carding  and  cloth-mill,  and  a  grist-mill.  A  little  hamlet 
gathered  there,  but  long  since  lost  its  identity. 

After  the  War  of  18 12  this  town,  like  most  others  in  the  county, 
rapidly  filled  up.  The  farmers  found  good  markets  for  their  crops,  and 
general  prosperity  reigned.  The  opening  of  the  Erie  Canal,  while  in 
some  respects  an  advantage  to  the  people,  was  in  other  ways  a  disad- 
vantage. It  brought  into  competition  with  the  Mohawk  farmers  those 
of  the  Genesee  country,  as  it  was  called,  where  grain  could  be  raised 
cheaper  than  here,  and  inaugur.ited  an  era  of  hard  times  in  the  agri- 
cultural districts;  a  competition  which,  in  connection  with  that 
developed  later  by  the  far  west,  led  10  the  introduction  of  dairying. 
The  building  of  the  Utica  and  Schenectady  Railroad  and  its  conse- 
quences have  already  been  described.  The  road  was  a  great  financial 
success,  a  fact  which  led  to  the  projection  of  other  lines  in  various 
directions.  One  of  these  was  the  Mohawk  Valley  Railroad  Company, 
which  was  organized  in  1850,  with  A.  C.  Flagg  as  president,  and  F.  E. 
Spinner,  secretary.  Books  were  opened  and  the  following  commis- 
sioners appointed  from  Herkimer  county  to  receive  subscriptions  to  the 
stock :  Benjamin  Carver,  F.  E.  Spinner,  and  Eliphalet  Remington.  E. 
H.  Broadhead  was  appointed  chief  engineer  and  his  report  was  made  in 
1851.  Without  following  the  route  proposed  in  detail  it  may  be  said 
that  it  was  to  extend  along  the  south  side  of  the  river,  one  line  being 
proposed  on  the  north  bank  of  the  canal  and  one  on  the  south,  the 
latter  passing  through  the  villages  of  Mohawk,  Ilion  and  Frankfort. 
The  road  was  never  built. 


190  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

The  New  York,  Utica  and  Ogdensburgh  Railroad,  which  also  contem- 
plated further  connections  in  this  county  and  town,  was  projected  in  New 
York,  and  one  link  in  its  line  was  from  Utica  to  Cooperstown.  A  sur- 
vey was  made  from  Utica  to  Mohawk  and  up  the  valley  of  Fulmer 
Creek  to  the  town  line  of  Stark.  In  aid  of  this  undertaking  the  town  of 
German  Flats  was  bonded  in  1872  for  $160,000.  The  road  was  begun, 
the  town  authorities  by  arrangement  paying  out  of  its  bonds  as  fast  as 
grading  progressed.  The  result  was  that  about  four  miles  were  graded 
and  the  town  had  invested  $32,000  when  the  work  stopped  and  was 
never  resumed  ;   the  remainder  of  the  bonds  was  canceled. 

A  much  more  satisfactory  project  in  its  results  was  the  building  of  the 
Mohawk  and  liion  Street  Railroad,  the  company  for  which  was  organized 
in  April,  1870.  John  F.  Hosch  was  the  first  president;  J.  E.  Casey, 
vice-president  ;  Jacob  Devendorf,  treasurer ;  S.  F.  Wilcox,  secretary. 
The  road  was  finished  in  September,  1870.  The  capital  stock  was 
$15,000,  and  the  village  of  Mohawk  was  bonded  for  $10,000  towards 
the  work  ;  these  bonds  were  retired  a  year  later  and  the  town  stock 
sold.  The  road  has  always  been  a  paying  investment  and  is  admirably 
managed. 

A  similar  enterprise,  which  has  been  of  great  public  benefit,  is  the 
Herkimer  and  Mohawk  Street  Railroad,  the  company  for  which  was 
organized  early  in  1871,  with  a  capital  stock  of  $20,000.  The  road 
was  built  connecting  Herkimer  and  Mohawk  villages,  and  was  in  opera- 
tion in  September,  1871.  This  road  has  also  paid  its  projectors 
financially. 

The  history  of  this  town  in  recent  years  is  further  told  in  the  suc- 
ceeding accounts  of  Mohawk  and  Ilion  villages,  the  latter  being  the 
largest  manufacturing  center  in  Herkimer  county,  excepting  Little 
Falls.  The  prosperity  of  Ilion  is  reflected  to  some  extent  throughout 
the  town,  and  especially  to  the  village  of  Mohawk.  The  dairying  in- 
dustry in  the  town  is  prosperous  and  extensive,  the  market  being 
largely  at  Little  Falls. 

MOHAWK   VILLAGE. 

The  site  of  this  village  was  first  settled  by  the  Palatines,  who  drew  the 
lots  upon  which  it  is  situated,  as  seen  in  the  table  in  Chapter  II,  and  the 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  191 

diagram,  page  38.  The  site  of  the  village  is  picturesque.  It  is  on  the 
north  side  of  the  town  near  the  center,  on  the  south  side  of  the  Erie 
canal,  and  on  Fulmer  Creek  about  half  a  mile  above  its  confluence  with 
the  Mohawk  River.  Among  its  inhabitants  previous  to  the  Revolution- 
ary War  were  very  few  except  the  Germans  and  their  families  ;  but  with 
the  close  of  the  war,  and  to  a  limited  extent  previous  to  that  time,  set- 
tlers came  in  rapidly  from  Connecticut  and  adjoining  Eastern  States. 

The  first  tavern  within  the  limits  of  the  village  was  built  by  Judge 
Gates  in  1778,  and  is  still  standing  in  the  western  part  of  the  village. 
He  occupied  it  a  few  years  and  sold  it  to  one  of  the  Petrie  family  and 
he  to  Rudolph  Devendorf  in  1804,  and  he  to  David  Diefendorf,  1  who 
in  1817  opened  what  was  called  a  "Dutch  tavern,"  which  he  kept  until 
1842,  when  it  was  converted  into  a  dwelling;  it  is  now  owned  and  oc- 
cupied by  Jacob  Diefendorf,  son  of  David,  who  has  lived  in  it  since  1817. 
So  well  was  it  built  that  it  is  to  day  in  excellent  condition.  It  is  thought 
to  be  the  oldest  building  in  the  village.  In  18 17  there  was  not  more  than 
two  dwelling-houses  on  the  north  side  of  Main  street  between  this  house 
and  the  site  of  the  canal  bridge  east  of  the  village,  and  the  whole 
tract  was  covered  with  a  grove  of  hickory  trees.  There  were  two 
or  three  barns,  one  of  which  stood  on  the  site  of  the  Mohawk  Valley 
Hotel.  The  next  tavern  in  the  place  was  kept  by  Josiah  Earl.  In  1800 
Peter  Helmer  built  a  tavern  on  a  site  just  south  of  the  old  Mohawk  House, 
which  was  kept  for  many  years  by  Jedediah  Fox.  In  1826  John  Ben- 
nett purchased  the  old  tavern  which  stands  near  the  present  Mohawk 
House,  and  built  a  storehouse  on  the  then  recently  opened  canal.  The 
opening  of  this  great  water-way  was  of  supreme  importance  to  this  vil- 
lage and  contributed  largely  to  its  early  growth  ;  a  growth  that  was  lat- 
er much  retarded  by  the  building  of  the  Utica  and  Schenectady  Railroad 
on  ihe  opposite  side  of  the  river.  The  place  was  early  known  as  "  Ben- 
nett's Corners,"  but  after  about  a  dozen  years,  was  given  its  present  more 
appropriate  title.  In  1825  Chester  Tisdale  built  the  American  Hotel,  on 
the  site  of  the  present  Mohawk  Valley  Hotel.  The  old  brick  hotel  east 
of  the  village  was  built  in  1830  by  Christopher  Bellinger  for  Daniel  Dy- 
gert  and  L.  Doolittle  ;  but  it  long  ago  fell  into  disuse  as  a  public  house. 

1  Although  these  two  Diefendorfs  were  brothers,  they  spelled  their  names  as  given, 


192  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

The  present  Mohawk  House,  corner  of  Main  and  Columbia  streets,  was 
built  by  Briggs  Thomas  in  1835. 

The  first  building  for  a  private  residence  was  erected  by  Peleg  Free- 
man in  1778  ;  the  site  is  now  occupied  by  the  residence  of  Mrs.  B.  A. 
Johnson,  south  side  of  Main  street,  west  of  Fulmer  Creek.  Robert  Shoe- 
maker's mother  built  the  house  where  David  Spencer  now  lives,  in  the 
west  part  of  the  village.  The  Wheeler  house,  just  east  of  the  creek  on 
Main  street,  was  built  by  Peter  Warner  in  1790;  it  is  now  owned  by 
Mrs.  Presley.  In  1800  Frederick  Starling  built  a  house  on  the  site  now 
occupied  by  the  residence  of  Thomas  Cunningham.  It  was  burned  not 
long  afterward,  and  another  erected,  which  finally  gave  place  to  the  pres- 
ent brick  house.  The  old  gambrel-roofed  house  that  stood  on  the  site 
of  the  present  residence  of  H.  1).  Alexander,  was  built  by  Rufus  Ran- 
dall about  1790. 

Manufactures  and  Mercantile. — The  very  early  mills  on  Fulmer 
Creek  have  already  been  described.  In  about  the  year  1808  Reuben 
Randall  built  a  grist-mill  on  this  creek  at  the  south  end  of  Columbia 
street,  which  was  used  until  recent  years ;  and  about  the  same  time  Asa 
Dennison  built  a  tannery  on  the  creek  in  the  west  part  of  the  village  on 
the  south  side  of  Main  street,  which  has  been  remodeled  into  dwellings. 
In  1 813  Rudolph  Devendorf  built  a  grist  and  saw-mill  on  the'south  side 
of  the  road  on  the  creek  in  the  west  part  of  the  village;  and  about  the 
same  time  Solomon  Ford  erected  a  saw-mill  a  little  farther  up  the  creek, 
and  a  Mr.  Warner  had  a  small  tannery  near  Devendorf's  mills.  All  of 
these  have  disappeared.  There  was  also  a  saw-mill  near  the  site  of  the 
lower  locks. 

The  first  blacksmith  in  the  village  was  named  Crane  and  he  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Adam  Starling.  The  shop,  which  was  built  probably  as  early 
as  1808,  stood  about  where  Dr.  Van  Court's  store  now  is.  In  1830 
Norton  &  Myers  had  a  blacksmith  shop  near  the  site  where  Thos.  Cun- 
ningham's store  is  now.  From  1 800  to  1820  a  plow  factory  was  on  the 
corner  of  Main  and  Columbia  streets  where  the  Ouackenbush  block  now 
stands.  This  was  for  many  years  the  only  manufactory  of  agricultural 
implements  in  this  part  of  the  county. 

The  Mohawk  Foundry  was  established  in  1843  by  the  late  Chaun- 
cey    Johnson.      The    building    first    erected    is    still    standing    on    the 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  193 

south  side  of  the  canal  at  the  corner  of  Warren  and  Johnson  streets. 
Another  building  was  afterwards  erected  of  brick,  the  first  one  being  of 
stone.  Stoves,  agricultural  implements,  iron  fence,  etc.,  were  produced 
here.  After  the  death  of  Mr.  Johnson  his  sons  conducted  the  business 
for  a  time,  but  it  is  now  stopped. 

The  Mohawk  Manufacturing  Works  were  established  for  the  manufac- 
ture of  a  new  and  improved  revolver.  The  company  consisted  of  H. 
D.  Alexander,  J.  B.  Rafter,  J.  F.  Hosch,  J.  N.  Quackenbush,  C.  Beck- 
with  and  J.  D.  Miller.      In  August,  1878,  the  company  was   dissolved. 

The  Mohawk  Valley  Hotel  Company  was  organized  December  17, 
1874,  with  a  capital  of  $50,000.  The  company  purchased  the  old 
American  Hotel  property,  including  Varley  Hall  and  the  house  and  lot 
next  north  of  it  on  Otsego  street,  and  there  erected  a  handsome  four- 
story  hotel.  The  total  cost  of  the  new  property  was  about  $75,000. 
While  this  house  has  been  of  benefit  to  the  place,  it  has  not  paid  the 
stockholders  financially. 

The  Mohawk  Valley  Knitting  Mills  is  one  of  the  later  manufacturing 
establishments  of  Mohawk  that  are  aiding  in  building  up  the  place.  It 
was  incorporated  March  17,  1887,  with  a  cash  paid-up  capital  of  $50,- 
000.  About  250  hands  are  employed  and  80,000  dozen  knit  underwear 
manufactured  annually.  The  officers  of  the  company  are  H.  D.  Alex- 
ander, president  and  treasurer;  J.  B.  Rafter,  secretary;  B.  A.  Stone, 
vice-president;   Smith  Ostrander,  superintendent. 

The  Knitting  Company  of  Mohawk,  limited,  was  incorporated  Oc- 
tober 27,  1890,  with  a  cash  paid-up  capital  of  $50,000,  and  manufac- 
tures similar  goods  to  those  made  by  the  Mohawk  Valley  Company. 
About  175  hands  are  employed,  and  Smith  Ostrander  is  superintendent. 
The  officers  are :  B.  A.  Stone,  president ;  J.  B.  Rafter,  secretary ;  H. 
D.  Alexander,  treasurer;   H.  G.  Munger,  vice-president. 

The  Broomhall  Milling  and  Malting  Company  was  organized  in 
March,  1891,  with  the  following  officers:  A.  D.  Morgan,  president;  L. 
G.  Young,  vice-president;  I.  W.  Steele,  treasurer;  C.  C.  Steele,  secre- 
tary.     Charles  Young  is  manager.     The  capital  is  $15,000,  paid  up. 

One  of  the  early  merchants  of  Mohawk  was  Samuel  Meeker,  who 
carried  on  business  where  Mr.  Lovejoy  now  has  a  hotel,  on  Columbia 
Street.     Mr.  Meeker  was  noted  for  his  fine  garden.      In  1809  Rudolph 

25 


194  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTTi. 

Devendorf  opened  a  store  on  the  corner  of  Main  and  Warren  streets, 
where  for  many  years  business  was  carried  on  by  various  merchants, 
among  them  Solomon  Clough,  Henry  S.  Diefendorf,  Peter  I.  Miller, 
D.  S.  Clark,  and  James  Campbell.  The  store  on  the  post  office  corner 
was  built  in  1836  by  Elias  and  Humphrey  G.  Root.  The  whole 
block  from  the  Kirley  block  to  the  post-office  corner  and  running  back 
nearly  to  the  canal,  was  purchased  in  the  spring  of  1826  by  Elias  Ran- 
dall for  $175.  The  Steele  block,  corner  of  Main  and  Otsego  streets,  was 
built  by  John  A.  Steele  in  1852,  and  the  Spinner  block,  opposite  corner 
of  Main  and  Otsego  streets,  was  erected  in  1844  by  F.  E.  Spinner.  The 
opening  of  the  canal  witnessed  the  erection  of  several  warehouses,  for 
storage  and  forvvarding,  among  them  being  the  building  now  occupied 
by  J.  W.  Devendorf;  this  was  the  first  one,  built  in  1826,  and  others 
were  built  by  H.  G.  Root  &  Co.,  James  Campbell,  Isaac  Woodworth, 
and  Merry  &  Devendorf 

The  first  brick  house  erected  in  the  village  was  the  one  in  which  Mrs. 
Still  well  lived,  and  here  she  died  in  1892.  It  was  biiilt  by  Josiah  Os- 
good and  rebuilt  by  Elias  Root. 

The  first  resident  physician  was  Dr.  A.  W.  Bowen,  who  came  here  in 
1828.  The  first  postmaster  was  Samuel  Miner,  and  the  first  mail  car- 
rier was  a  Mr.  Luke,  who  traveled  on  horseback  between  Utica  and 
Schenectady.  The  mail  was  delivered  once  each  week,  if  the  weather 
and  roads  would  permit. 

The  land  on  which  the  village  stands  was  owned  b)'  Rufus  Randall, 
who,  after  disposing  of  one  or  two  farms,  sold  the  remainder  to  Frederick 
Bellinger,  -who  had  it  surveyed  into  village  lots.  The  village  was  incorpo- 
rated by  act  of  Legislature  passed  April  16,  1844,  and  the  first  election 
for  village  officers  was  held  at  the  house  of  John  Golden  May  4,  1844, 
when  the  following  officers  were  chosen  : 

President,  Frederick  Bellinger;  assessors,  Gordon  Farmer  and  Ezekiel 
Spencer  ;  treasurer,  Elias  Root ;  clerk,  Daniel  S.  Clark  ;  collector,  Marks 
H.  Grants  ;  constable,  Marks  H.  Grants.  The  proceedings  of  the  first 
charter  election  were  signed  by  Frederick  Starling,  as  chairman,  and 
John  Crist  as  town  clerk. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  board  of  trustees  held  May  9,  1844,  the  follow- 
ing named  persons  were  granted  each  a  tavern  license,  paying  for  it  $5  : 


194  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUKTl . 

Devendorf  opened  a  store  on  the  corner  of  Main  and  Warren  streets, 
where  fm  !ii  ,h\'  \  ears  business  was  carried  on  by  various  merchants, 
among  mon   Clough,  Henry  S.  Diefendorf,  Peter  I.   Miller, 

D.  S.  Ci.>..v.  o,.o  james  Campbell.  The  store  on  the  post-office  corner 
was  built  in    1836  by  Elias   and    Humphrey  G.    Root.      The  whole 

block  from  the  Kirley  block  to  the  post-   '•       ■  "--^  r : -ning  back 

nearly  to  the  canal,  was  purchased  in  th  ias  Ran- 

■Jallfor  $175.     The  Steele  block,  ci'iv  utsego  streets,  was 

Liuilt  by  John  A.  Steele  in  1852,  ai  ick,  opposite  corner 

of  Main  and  Otsego  streets,  was  ei  F.  E.  Spinner.  The 

opening  of  the  canal  witnessed  th  -  rai  warehouses,  for 

storage  and  forwarding,  among  t;  Iding  now  occupied 

by  J.  W.  Devendorf;  this  was  thf  n    1826,  and  others 

were  built  by  H.  G.  Root  &  '  Campbell,  Isaac  Woodwoi  i 

and  Merry  &  Devendorf. 

The  first  brick  house  erectt  c  one  in  which  Mrs. 

Stillwelllived,  and  here  si:  _  biiilt  by  Josiah  O'^- 

good  and  rebuilt  by  Eli; 

The  first  resident  ph}  ^"  »n,  who  came  here  m 

1828.     The  first  postm:'  d  the  first  mail  car- 

rier was  a  Mr.  Luke,  who  n  '■  -  >  i:  on  n^rs' u.ici:  between  Utica  and 
Schenectady.  The  mail  was  delivered  once  each  week,  if  the  weather 
and  roads  would  permit. 

The  land  on  which  the  villape  stands  was  owned  by  Rufus 
who,  after  disposinr  'le  remainder  to  Frederick 

Bellinger,  who  had  ,  The  village  was  incorpo- 

rated by  act  of  Legislature  passed  .rv^.ni  io,  1844,  and  the  first  election 
for  village  officers  was  held  n.t  the  house  of  John  Golden  May  4,.  1844, 
wlien  the  following  office 

''^resident,  Frederick  Bi       ,.  idEzekiel 

r  ;  treasurer,  Elias  Root ;  clerk,  Daniel  S.  Clark ;  collector,  Mar 
"'i  ■  constable,  Marks  ll    '.mnfs      The  proceedings  of  the  fii... 
ion  were  signed  arling,  as  chairman,  and 

board  of  trustees  held  May  9,  1 844,  the  foil' 
ing  nanieu  persoi:-  i ted  each  a  tavern  licens:  for  it  ^5  : 


Town  of  German  flats.  19o 

Newman  Smith,  Olendorf  &  Lawyer,  Charles  Bronson  and  George  L. 
Van  Slyke;  and  grocery  licenses  were  granted  on  the  same  terms  to  L. 
L.  Merry  and  Cornelius  Devendorf. 

The  Mohawk  Valley  Bank  was  organized  February  9,  1839,  by  the 
election  of  the  following  officers :  Directors,  David  Devendorf,  Fred- 
erick Bellinger,  Alanson  Maxon,  Elias  Root,  Ira  Randall,  Jacob  F. 
Cristman,  Ebenezer  Morgan,  Stephen  Jones,  William  Burgess,  E.  A. 
Munson,  Charles  Wightman,  Peter  H.  Warren,  H.  S.  Orendorf,  J.  I. 
Cristman,  R.  G.  Starkweather,  Rodney  Sanford,  L.  Stienburgh,  Ephraim 
Tisdale,  Jacob  Marshall,  and  Jesse  C.  Dann.  "Ebenezer  Morgan  was 
chosen  president,  and  in  May,  1839,  J.  C.  Dann  was  chosen  cashier,  and 
in  June,  Eiias  Root  was  elected  vice-president.  The  successive  presi- 
dents of  the  bank  have  been  as  follows:  After  Mr.  Morgan,  Charles 
Wightman,  elected  February  9,  1841  ;  Benjamin  Carver,  July  2,  1849; 
Peter  H.  Warren,  July  2,  1855  ;  John  J.  Cristman,  July,  1857  ;  F.  E. 
Spinner,  July  5,  1858;  Peter  H.  Warren,  July,  1861  ;  Dean  Burgess, 
July,  1864;  Eli  Fox,  January,  1882;  Jacob  Devendorf,  January,  1 891. 
On  the  3d  of  April,  1865,  the  bank  was  reorganized  and  its  name 
changed  to  the  National  Mohawk  Valley  Bank,  and  the  officers  re- 
mained as  before  until  September  3,  1867,  when  H.  D.  Alexander  was 
elected  cashier  and  has  filled  the  office  until  the  present  time.  The 
present  officers  of  the  bank  are  as  follows:  President,  Jacob  Deven- 
dorf; directors,  the  president,  H.  D.  Alexander,  Allen  Bloomfield,  B. 
A.  Weatherby,  Thomas  D.  Warren,  R.  M.  Devendorf,  B.  A.  Stone, 
John  Giblin,  H.  A.  Deimel,  O.  W.  Bronson,  and  De  Witt  E.  Allen. 
The  capital  of  the  bank  is  $150,000;  surplus  and  undivided  profits, 
$40,000;  deposits  about  $220,000.  In  1892  the  institution  erected  a 
handsome  and  convenient  bank  building  on  Main  street  at  a  cost  ol 
$10,000. 

The  Mohawk  Gaslight  Company  was  organized  October  3,  i860, 
with  a  capital  of  $10,000.  President,  Chauncey  Johnson  ;  secretary, 
Eli  Fox;  treasurer,  R.  H.  Pomeroy.  At  a  later  date  the  company  was 
consolidated  with  the  works  at  llion,  a  new  company  formed  called 
the  llion  and  Mohawk  Gaslight  Company,  and  the  capital  stock  in- 
creased to  $30,000.  After  the  consolidation  the  works  were  located 
about  half  a  mile  east  of  llion  and  both  villages  supplied  with  gas. 
Mohawk  is  now  lighted  with  electricity  by  the  same  company. 


196  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTS. 

Public  School. — Very  little  is  known  of  the  schools  of  Mohawk  in 
early  years.  The  destruction  of  the  records  of  German  Flats  in  1843 
renders  it  impossible  to  learn  details  previous  to  that  year,  excepting 
through  the  memory  of  old  residents.  It  is  known  that  early  in  the 
present  century  there  was  a  school-house  on  the  east  side  of  wliat  is 
now  Columbia  street,  near  the  site  of  the  residence  of  H.  G.  Root,  and 
the  contract  for  the  erection  of  the  building  is  still  in  existence.  The 
building  was  put  up  by  Russel  Brown,  "  at  or  near  Timothy  Campbell's 
house  in  German  Flats."  The  building  cost  $260.  The  contract  was 
signed  on  the  part  of  the  authorities  by  Russel  Brown,  Abrani  Randal, 
Rufus  Randal,  jr.,  James  L.  Campbell,  and  Rudolph  Devendorf 

This  old  school-house  was  abandoned  after  the  erection  of  the  present 
school  building  about  1853,  and  finally  passed  to  the  Methodist  society. 
It  is  still  standing  and  used  for  a  carpenter  shop.  When  the  present 
building  was  erected  a  graded  school  was  established  and  it  so  con- 
tinues. W.  E.  Stearns  is  the  present  principal,  and  under  him  six 
teachers  are  employed.  A  new  school  building  is  to  be  erected  during 
1892-3,  at  a  cost  of  $17,000. 

Fire  Department. — The  fire  department  of  Mohawk  was  organized 
September  9,  1844,  by  the  village  trustees  who  appointed  Humphrey 
G,  Root  as  chief  engineer  ;  Gordon  Farmer,  assistant,  with  twenty-four 
members.  The  company  was  named  Mohawk  Engine  Company  No. 
I.  The  engine  used  was  made  at  Waterford,  and  it  was  kept  in  a  house 
on  the  corner  of  Main  and  North  Washington  streets.  In  May,  1861, 
the  trustees  purchased  a  more  powerful  engine  at  Seneca  Falls,  and  in 
June  of  that  year  a  new  company  named  Colonel  Ellsworth  Engine 
Company  No.  2,  was  organized.  In  1869  this  company  was  disbanded 
and  from  that  date  until  1878  the  engine  was  in  charge  of  citizens,  un- 
der direction  of  the  trustees.  In  March,  1878,  a  company  was  formed 
for  the  hand  engine,  composed  of  forty- eight  men,  and  this  organization 
is  still  kept  up. 

A  special  election  was  held  June  7,  1875,  at  which  it  was  voted  that 
the  village  should  purchase  a  steam  fire  engine.  This  was  done  and 
the  name  Mohawk  Chief  given  to  the  new  engine.  At  the  same  time 
Alexander  Hose  Company  No.  I  was  organized  with  the  following 
officers:     President,  A.   C.   Devendorf;  vice-president,  A.  G.   Myers; 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  197 

secretary,  W.  H.  Schall ;  treasurer,  John  McChesney  ;  foreman,  E.  L. 
Prince.  This  organization  is  still  in  existence.  The  fire  department 
as  at  present  organized  and  equipped,  is  one  of  the  best  in  the  county. 

There  is  at  present  only  one  newspaper  in  Mohawk,  which  was 
started  by  Rich  &  Tucker  in  1874,  as  the  Mo/iawk  Independent.  It 
was  subsequently  sold  to  A.  A.  Miller,  who  was  succeeded  as  owner  by 
W.  E.  Churchill,  and  by  C.  A.  White,  who  sold  the  establishment  to 
Miss  Clara  E.  Morgan  in  January,  1892.  The  name  of  the  paper  was 
then  changed  to  The  Eagle.  The  paper  is  ably  edited  by  Miss  Morgan 
and  is  liberally  supported. 

The  Reformed  Church. — This  society  was  organized  December  11, 
1838,  when  Christopher  Bellinger,  and  Samuel  Meeker  were  elected 
elders,  and  Samuel  Barringer  and  Henry  Harter,  deacons.  Shortly 
afterwards  the  lot  on  which  the  church  stands  was  donated  to  the  so- 
ciety by  Frederick  Bellinger.  Through  the  influence  and  substantial  aid 
of  Elias  Root  and  H.  G.  Root,  the  church  building  was  soon  erected. 
The  pulpit  was  first  occupied  by  Rev.  James  Murphy,  of  Herkimer,  as 
supply.  February  i,  1844,  Rev.  Jedediah  L.  Stark  was  called  to  the 
church,  and  he  was  installed  May  3,  1844;  he  continued  for  ten  years, 
since  which  time  the  following  pastors  have  served  the  society  : 

Rev.  Elbert  Slingerland,  1854;  Rev.  John  M.  Hammond,  1856;  Rev. 
Charles  D.  Nott,  1859;  Rev.  E.  Slingerland,  1865,  one  year;  Rev.  G.  D. 
Consaul,  1867;  Rev.  F.  F.  Wilson,  1870;  Rev.  F.  M.  Bogardus,  1872  ; 
Rev.  J.  G.  Lansing,  1876;  Rev.  John  Brandow,  and  Rev.  A.  D.  Minor, 
who  was  succeeded  in  May,  1892,  by  Rev.  Ira  Van  Allen.  The  church 
membership  is  about  115,  and  the  following  are  the  officers:  Elders, 
Byron  A.  Stone,  Thomas  Cunningham,  Robert  Myers  ;  deacons,  Jasper 
Morgan,  Truman  Snell,  Dr.  Rasbach. 

The  Baptist  Church. — The  first  Baptist  society  of  Mohawk  was  or- 
ganized February  9,  1841,  and  the  church  was  erected  in  1845  and  ded- 
icated January  i,  1846.  For  a  number  of  years  the  church  was  fairly 
prosperous,  but  later  it  has  greatly  declined.  Among  the  pastors  have 
been  Revs.  J.  Benedict,  the  first,  N.  Loring,  J.  W.  Crumb,  L.  Casler, 
O.  Adams,  Lamar  W.  Hayhurst,  G.  W.  Harvey,  and  Rev,  Mr.  Broddie, 
who  remained  until  1861.  There  is  now  no  settled  pastor  over  the 
church  and  no  regular  services. 


l&d  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

The  Methodist  Chiurh. — The  date  of  the  formation  of  the  first  Metho- 
dist class  in  Mohawk  is  not  known,  but  it  was  very  early,  and  it  was  for 
some  years  connected  with  the  class  at  Herkimer.  In  185 1  Rev.  I. 
Hunt  was  permitted  by  the  Reformed  church  society  to  occupy  their 
church  Sabbath  afternoons,  and  he  was  followed  by  Rev.  Mr.  Barnard. 
Later  Rev.  Joseph  Lamb  preached  in  the  Baptist  church  which  was 
leased  for  the  purpose.  The  old  school-house  on  Columbia  street  was 
finally  purchased,  its  use  donated  to  the  society,  and  it  was  fitted 
for  services.  This  was  afterwards  sold  and  the  society  again  used  the 
Baptist  church.  After  years  of  alternate  periods  of  success  and  de- 
spondency, a  revival  held  here  in  the  winter  of  1867—8  by  the  praying 
band  connected  with  the  Ilion  church  quickened  the  feeble  society,  and 
in  the  spring  of  1869  Rev.  Olin  Wightman  became  the  pastor,  and  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  church  of  Mohawk  was  organized.  After  using 
the  Baptist  and  Universalist  churches  for  a  time,  the  present  handsome 
church  was  erected,  chiefly  through  the  liberality  of  Philo  and  Elizabeth 
Remington.  The  membership  is  about  lOO  and  Rev.  Mr.  Fitch  is 
pastor. 

The  Universalist  Church. — This  society  was  organized  in  1850,  and 
the  brick  church  was  erected  and  dedicated  in  February,  1852.  The 
means  to  this  end  were  contributed  largely  by  subscription.  The  first 
pastor  was  Rev.  B.  B.  Hallock,  who  was  succeeded  in  1857  by  Rev. 
Dolphus  Skinner.  Others  who  have  served  the  church  are  Revs.  L.  C. 
Brown,  J.  R.  Sage,  L.  L.  Briggs,  A.  A.  Thayer,  F.  S.  Brown,  and  D. 
Ballou.  For  the  past  several  years  there  has  been  no  regular  preach- 
ing in  the  church.  Rev.  T.  C.  Fisher,  of  Herkimer,  preaches  afternoons 
at  the  present  time. 

Grace  Episcopal  Church. — This  society  was  organized  in  1854,  and 
the  church  erected  at  the  same  time.  Previous  to  that  time  services 
had  been  held  for  several  years  in  the  public  hall.  The  church  was 
erected  with  funds  subscribed  and  was  paid  for  in  full.  The  first  rector 
was  Rev.  William  Bogart  Walker,  who  was  followed  by  Rev.  E.  C.  Ed- 
munds. Rev.  S.  M.  Griswold  then  preached  for  a  time,  coming  from 
Ilion,  and  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  Charles  E.  Freeman  and  Rev.  M.  O. 
Smith.  Rev.  Alfred  Taylor  preached  in  1890.  The  church  is  now 
without  a  rector. 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  199 

The  present  postmaster  of  Mohawk  is  Thomas  Cunningham,  who 
took  the  office  in  November,  1889,  succeeding  D.  D.  Morgan.  An- 
other post-office  in  the  town  is  Edick,  in  the  southwest  part,  with 
John  Shoemaker  as  postmaster,  he  having  held  the  office  about  four 
years  and  since  it  was  estabhshed. 

The  present  officers  of  Mohawk  village  are :  President,  Charles 
Tucker  ;  trustees,  Jeremiah  Warner,  Charles  Young,  F.  H.  Sales,  A. 
H.  Day  ;  clerk,  Charles  Young  ;   chief  engineer,  C.  J.  Thrall. 

VILLAGE   OF   ILION. 

There  was  nothing  meriting  the  name  of  a  village  on  the  site  of  Ilion 
until  after  the  completion  of  the  Erie  Canal,  yet  there  was  a  store  there 
as  early  as  18 16,  and  perhaps  earlier,  a  fact  which  is  attested  by  shin- 
plasters  of  Thomas  Gillespie  &  Son  of  that  date.  In  early  years  the. 
western  part  of  the  present  corporation  was  called  "  London."  After 
the  construction  of  the  canal  the  locality  was  known  as  Morgan's  Land- 
ing, while  on  the  canal  list  it  was  called  Steele's  Creek. 

The  following  interesting  and  comprehensive  account  of  the  place 
was  written  by  William  Hibbard  Page  in  1874: 

On  the  1st  day  of  January,  in  the  year  1828,  Eliphalet  Remington  purchased  one 
hundred  acres  of  land  of  John  A.  Clapsaddle,  in  part  the  site  of  the  present  village  of 
Ilion,  being  that  portion  bounded  on  the  west  by  Otsego  street.  The  canal  had  been  in 
operation  about  three  years,  but  the  settlement  could  only  boast  of  seven  dwellings, 
two  storehouses  and  a  school-house.  The  river  road  (Main  street)  came  down  from 
Frankfort  as  it  does  now,  but  near  the  residence  of  Mr.  Albert  Baker  it  crossed  the 
canal  on  a  bridge,  which  was  torn  away  when  the  canal  was  enlarged;  passing  down 
on  the  north  side,  it  recrossed  to  the  south  side  of  the  canal  a  .short  distance  below  the 
gas  works.  One  of  the  principal  dwellings  was  the  old  Clapsaddle  farm  house,  which 
stood  on  the  premises  now  occupied  by  the  bank  block  and  the  adjacent  armory  build- 
ings. Here  Mr.  Clapsaddle  had  lived  many  years,  and  we  are  reliably  informed  that 
he  was  born  and  brought  up  in  this  vicinity.  Where  Small's  Hotel  now  is  there  stood 
a  building,  in  the  front  part  of  which  was  the  "corner  grocery,"  kept  by  a  man  named 
Gary.  Here  all  the  business  of  the  Corners  was  transacted,  temporally  and  spiritually. 
Groceries,  dry  goods,  etc.,  and  intoxicating  liquors  made  up  the  stock  in  trade.  Daniel 
Dygert,  father  of  our  townsman,  J.  M.  Dygert,  occupied  a  portion  of  the  same  build- 
ing as  a  dwelling.  Just  west  of  this,  and  where  the  last  named  gentleman  now  lives, 
was  the  residence  of  his  uncle,  Dennis  Dygert.  This  gentleman  owned  a  storehouse, 
which  stood  where  Hotahng's  block  now  is.  On  the  site  of  Long's  Hotel  (now  occu- 
pied by  the  Coleman  carriage  and  wagon  factory)  was   the  farm  house  of  Selden  Mor- 


200  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

gan,  who  also  owned  a  storehouse  near  where  the  steam  mill  now  stands.  Still  farther 
west  and  near  the  creek,  was  the  residence  of  Adam  Steele.  The  school-house  was  lo- 
cated on  the  site  of  Long's  barn,  near  the  old  feeder,  but  was  afterward  moved  to 
about  lialf  way  between  Dennis  Dygert's  storehouse  and  the  bridge  first  mentioned. 
Opposite  this  bridge,  and  close  to  the  towpath,  was  the  "'Seth  Curtis  House,"  occupied 
by  Mr.  Lawrence  Helmer,  which  is  still  standing,  and  is  distinguished  as  the  old  brown 
tenement,  third  building  east  of  the  Agricultural  Works ;  farther  to  the  east  was  the 
residence  of  Esquire  Helmer.  This  property  was  afterwards  bought  of  Mr.  Barter  by 
William  Jinks,  inventor  of  the  Jinks  carbine,  who  erected  a  new  dwelling  in  the  place 
of  the  old  one  ;  and  later  it  passed  into  the  hands  of  Esquire  Rasbach,  by  whose  family 
it  is  now  occupied.  Such  was  Ilion  in  1831 ;  and  these  eight  families  consisted  of  less 
than  forty  persons.  From  1830  to  1843  the  settlement  was  called  Remington's  Cor- 
ners by  the  residents,  and  generally  known  as  such  by  the  inhabitants  of  the  surround- 
ing country.  On  the  canal  list,  however,  it  was  designated  as  Steele's  Creek,  probably 
after  the  stream  of  water  which  now  flows  through  the  center  of  the  village,  and  which 
took  its  name  from  the  fact  that  Mr.  Steele  had  lived  for  many  years  where  the  creek 
passes  under  the  canal.  During  all  this  time  there  was  no  post-office  at  this  point,  and 
the  villagers  received  their  mail  through  the  office  at  Mohawk  and  others  in  the  im- 
mediate vicinity.  This  was  a  source  of  great  annoyance  to  them,  as  it  was  very  incon- 
venient to  go  or  send  from  two  to  ten  miles  to  get  letters  and  papers  which  might  be 
brought  almost  to  their  very  doors.  In  1843  the  place  had  materially  increased  in  size 
and  population,  and  had  become  a  point  of  considerable  interest.  The  manufacture  of 
fire-arms  was  then  in  its  infancy ;  indeed,  Mr.  Remington's  principal  business  was  the 
manufacture  of  gun  barrels,  which  were  sold  to  gunsmiths  and  to  large  manufacturing 
houses  in  distant  cities.  At  this  time  the  necessity  for  a  post-office  had  correspond- 
ingly increased  with  the  prosperity  of  the  Corners,  and  became  the  principal  topic  of 
conversation  in  the  stores,  shops,  and  firesides  as  well.  But  to  get  an  office  there  must 
be  a  name  by  which  to  call  it.  As  many  as  thirty  different  names  were  proposed. 
This  was  at  a  time  when  villages  were  being  named  after  the  most  prominent  states- 
men of  the  nation,  and  as  there  cannot  be  two  post-offices  of  the  same  name  in  any 
single  State,  nearly  all  the  propositions  were  dropped  and  the  people  of  the  Corners 
settled  upon  two  names,  Vulcan  and  Fountain,  under  one  of  which  they  resolved  an 
office  should  be  established.  Finally  a  general  meeting  of  the  citizens  was  called  to 
express  their  views,  and  to  decide  by  vote  which  of  the  two  it  should  be.  This  meet- 
ing was  held  in  one  of  the  stores.  The  result  of  the  vote  as  announced  was  that  the 
friends  of  Fountain  outnumbered  the  Vulcanites  nine  to  one.  These  were  the  days  of 
"  Tippecanoe  and  Tyler  too  !  "  On  the  death  of  William  Henry  Harrison,  John  Tyler 
succeeded  to  the  presidency,  and  under  his  administration  A.  G.  Wicliffe  was  post- 
master-general. From  1840  to  1844  Hon.  L.  L.  Merry  was  postmaster  at  Mohawk, 
and  he  used  to  send  the  mail  to  the  Corners  tied  up  in  a  handkerchief ;  frequently  there 
being  no  more  of  it  than  he  could  hold  in  one  hand.  Mr.  Benton,  of  Mohawk, 
familiarly  known  as  Charley  Benton,  was  member  of  Congress  from  this  district,  and 
the  petition  for  the  new  office  was  placed  in  his  hands.  Another  petition,  from  Mr. 
Merry  and  the  postmasters  at  Herkimer  and  Frankfort,  was  also  handed  to  Mr.  Ben. 


Ou/iAt^te^ 


^/Ve-f^t--ni^i^o-'f^. 


1 


I 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  201 

ton,  but  was  not  presented  to  the  department,  as  Mr.  Wicliffe  readily  granted  the  office 
on  the  petition  of  the  citizens.  The  friends  of  Fountain  were  not  entirely  satisfied 
with  their  choice,  although  they  consented  to  adopt  the  name  for  the  want  of  something 
better.  It  had  been  suggested  that  the  place  be  named  after  Mr.  Remington,  but  that 
gentleman  modestly  declined  the  honor.  Mr.  Benton,  however,  was  so  much  in  favor 
of  the  suggestion  that  after  consulting  with  General  Spinner,  then  cashier  of  the  Mo- 
hawk Valley  Bank,  and  Humphrey  G.  Root,  by  their  advice  he  concluded  to  change 
the  name,  on  presenting  the  petition,  which  he  did  accordingly.  So  this  village  was 
called  Remington  by  authority  of  the  government,  and  one  of  its  most  highly  esteemed 
citizens,  David  D.  Devoe,  was  appointed  to  be  postmaster.  As  might  be  supposed,  the 
people  were  greatly  surprised  when  the  papers  were  received  informing  them  of  the 
change,  but  they  were  apparently  satisfied.  Mr.  Remington  was  displeased.  In  due 
time  the  department  sent  on  a  contract  for  a  weekly  mail  from  Mohawk  at  twelve  dol- 
lars a  year  ;  a  mail  but  once  a  week  was  hardly  better  than  under  the  old  system,  and 
a  contract  at  twelve  dollars  a  year  nobody  would  take.  For  the  sake  of  form,  how- 
ever, and  to  comply  with  the  requirements  of  the  department,  David  Harrington  was 
induced  to  accept  it,  and  the  contract  was  accordingly  returned  to  Washington.  This 
arrangement  not  being  satisfactory  to  the  postmaster  or  the  citizens,  Mr.  Devoe  made 
a  private  contract  with  a  Mr.  Roarbach  to  let  his  (Roarbach's)  boy  get  a  daily  mail 
from  Mohawk ;  and  it  was  agreed  that  in  time  of  unpleasant  and  stormy  weather 
the  official  should  go  after  the  mail  himself.  The  price  of  the  contract  was  fifty -six 
dollars.  This  sum  was  the  amount  allowed  by  the  department,  less  forty-four  dollars, 
which  Mr.  Devoe  paid  out  of  his  own  pocket.  The  office  was  opened  in  the  store 
where  0.  B.  Rudd's  jewelry  store  is  now  located,  and  it  was  fitted  up  with  a  case  of 
boxes  and  other  fixtures  necessary  to  make  it  convenient  by  Mr.  Devoe.  These  cir- 
cumstances are  mentioned  simplj'  to  show  how  much  interest  was  felt  by  our  first  post- 
master in  the  success  of  his  administration,  as  well  as  personal  expenses  incurred  by 
him  in  supplying  Remington  with  a  daily  mail,  facts  not  generally  known  to  our  citi- 
zens. So  great  was  Mr.  Remington's  displeasure  at  the  name  of  the  new  post-office 
that  he  refused  to  date  his  letters  at  Remington, but  dated  them  at  German  Flats;  con- 
sequently answers  to  his  correspondence  were  sent  to  German  Flats  post-office,  nine 
miles  away  up  in  Paine's  Hollow.  As  a  further  inconvenience,  letters  addressed 
to  this  place  would  be  sent  to  Bennington,  Vt.,  Perrinton,  N.  J.,  Bennington,  N.  Y., 
and  another  place  of  similar  name  in  Pennsylvania;  so  also  would  letters  intended  for 
those  places  reach  this  office,  occasioned,  of  course,  by  illegible  superscription.  These  cir- 
cumstances finally  became  a  source  of  such  great  annoyance  that  the  people  murmured. 
About  a  year  after  the  establishment  of  the  office  Messrs.  Remington  and  Devoe  be- 
came satisfied  that  a  change  was  very  much  needed.  Considerable  time  was  spent  by 
them  in  searching  for  an  Indian  name  for  some  point  in  close  proximity  to  Remington, 
but  without  effect.  Failing  to  find  a  name  which  he  would  be  willing  to  forward  on 
his  own  responsibility  to  the  department  for  confirmation,  Mr.  Remington  asked  his 
friend  to  suggest  one,  and  Mr.  Devoe  named  Ilion,  which  he  had  proposed  at  the  be- 
ginning. At  that  time  there  was  one  other  office  of  this  name  in  the  United  States, 
located  in  Tipton  county,  Tenn.,  but  it  has  since  been  discontinued.  On  that  account, 
36 


202  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

but  chiefly  because  he  had  been  favorably  impressed  with  it  in  reading  Homer's  Iliad, 
did  Postmaster  Devoe  urge  the  name  of  Ilion.  Mr.  Remington  was  pleased  with  it, 
but  there  was  one  objection  ;  he  thought  that  there  was  somewhat  of  vanity  in  taking 
the  name  of  so  important  a  city  as  ancient  Troy  to  bestow  on  such  a  small  and  unpre- 
tending place  as  was  proposed.  Concluding  that  none  could  be  found  that  would  give 
better  ."sati-sfaction,  these  gentlemen  sent  their  petition  to  Washington,  and  the  name  of 
Ilion  was  substituted  for  Remington,  without  consulting  the  citizens,  which  would 
doubtless  have  caused  delay,  and  perhaps  defeated  the  object  in  view.  So  the  stone 
which  the  builders  refused  is  become  the  headstone  of  the  corner. 

The  village  was  incorporated  in  1852,  and  the  first  officers  were  as 
follow:  Trustees,  John  A.  Rasbach,  John  Harrington,  Conrad  Folts, 
Piiineas  Gates,  and  Samuel  Underwood  ;  assessors,  Jacob  Getman, 
Lawrence  Helmer,  William  J.  Lewis;  clerk,  Eliphalet  Remington,  jr.  ; 
treasurer,  William  O.  Barnes ;  collector,  William  Breadon ;  pound- 
master,  Abraham  Fish.  In  1866  by  legislative  act  the  charter  was 
changed  in  important  matters,  making  the  term  of  office  of  the  trustees 
five  years,  and  providing  for  the  election  of  one  only  each  year.  In 
1870  the  population  had  reached  2,876,  and  in  1875  it  was  a  little  more 
than  4,000  ;   it  is  now  nearly  5,000. 

The  fire  department  was  organized  in  1863.  R.  R.  Bennet  was  the 
first  chief  engineer,  and  Alfred  E.  Brooks  and  William  Kitzmiller,  first 
and  second  assistants.  The  present  chief  engineer  is  M.  M.  Kane.  The 
Armory  Hose  Company  was  organized  in  1863  and  was  composed 
wholly  of  employees  in  the  Remington  factories,  and  chiefly  for  the 
protection  of  those  works,  the  water  being  taken  from  pumps.  This 
organization  continued  until  1870,  when  the  corporation  purchased  for 
it  a  hand  engine.  The  company  was  then  divided,  a  part  retaining  the 
former  name  and  the  others  assuming  the  name  of  Excelsior  Fire  Com- 
pany No.  2,  and  persons  outside  of  the  Remington  works  were  admitted 
to  membership.  A.  H.  Sumner  was  the  first  foreman  of  Excelsior 
Company,  and  John  Irlam  and  Smith  C.  Harter,  first  and  second  as- 
sistants. 

Ilion  Steamer  and  Hose  No.  i  was  organized  in  1863,  soon  after  the 
formation  of  the  Armory  Hose  Company.  It  consisted  of  fifty  men, 
and  the  first  foreman  was  D.  J.  Randall.  The  steamer  purchased  at 
about  this  time  and  for  this  company,  cost  $4,500  ;  it  was  a  Siisby 
rotary.      In  the  spring  of  1876  the  village  purchased   two  new  steamers 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  203 

of  the  Silsby  make,  at  a  cost  of  $4,000  "each.  The  village  has  always 
been  fortunate  in  escaping  disastrous  fires,  and  the  department  is  now 
thoroughly  equipped  after  modern  ideas. 

In  1852  the  Ilion  Bank  began  operations  under  the  State  banking 
laws,  with  a  capital  of  $100,000.  The  first  directors  were  Eliphalet 
Remington,  Benjamin  Carver,  Benjamin  P.  Markham,  John  P.  Sill, 
George  Tuckerman,  Vose  Palmer,  John  Ingersoll,  Alonzo  Wood, 
Henry  L.  Green,  Peter  H.  Warren,  and  John  A.  Rasbach.  Eliphalet 
Remington  was  elected  the  first  president;  John  Ingersoll,  vice-presi- 
dent; Robert  H.  Pomeroy,  cashier.  Mr.  Remington  held  the  office  of 
president  until  his  death,  and  was  succeeded  by  George  Tuckerman. 
The  successive  cashiers  were  Frank  Carver  succeeding  Mr.  Pomeroy, 
Le  Roy  Tuttle,  John  A.  Rasbach,  H.  H.  Devendorf,  and  Floyd  C. 
Shepard.  The  bank  suspended  business  in  1866,  paying  all  of  its  lia- 
bilities in  full. 

The  Ilion  National  bank  was  organized  March  14,  1867,  with  a  cap- 
ital of  $100,000.  The  first  president  was  Jacob  J.  Folts,  and  the  first 
cashier,  Charles  Harter,  who  was  succeeded  in  the  office  by  F.  C. 
Shepard,  and  he  by  David  Lewis,  the  present  cashier.  The  first  board 
of  directors  was  as  follows  :  Varnum  S.  Kenyon,  Alfred  E.  Varney, 
William  Getman,  George  Tuckerman,  Floyd  C.  Shepard,  Jacob  J. 
Folts,  John  Hoefler,  Henry  L  Green,  Peter  Countryman.  Philo  Rem- 
ington succeeded  Mr.  Folts  as  president  of  the  bank,  and  Charles 
Harter,  the  present  president,  succeeded  Mr.  Remington.  The  excel- 
lent management  of  this  institution  is  shown  in  its  condition.  Its  de- 
posits now  amount  to  $355,582.62,  while  it  has  surplus  and  profits  of 
over  $40,000. 

The  first  attempt  to  secure  for  Ilion  better  educational  facilities  than 
were  supplied  by  the  common  and  free  schools,  was  the  formation  of 
an  association  about  1881— 2,  comprising  twenty  progressive  citizens, 
who  pledged  themselves  to  the  payment  of  $200  each  for  the  establish- 
ment of  an  academy.  The  institution  was  started,  but  it  did  not  meet 
with  expected  success,  and  in  1864  it  was  given  up  and  a  graded 
school  established. 

In  addition  to  the  district  school- house  then  in  existence,  a  com- 
modious brick  building  was  erected  in  1865,  at   a   cost  of  $23,000.      It 


i04  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

has  since  been  enlarged  by  an  extension  of  the  stone  building  in  the 
rear,  which  is  used  for  a  primary  department.  The  bounds  of  the  dis- 
trict coincide  with  those  of  the  village.  This  school  has  been  under 
the  care  of  the  Regents  of  the  University  for  about  fifteen  years,  and  the 
academic  class  sent  out  its  first  graduates  in  1873.  There  are  about 
1,200  children  of  school  age  in  the  district,  and  twenty-two  teachers  are 
employed,  with  Judson  I.  Wood  as  principal. 

Through  the  inauguration  in  Ilion  of  large  manufactories,  noticed  a 
little  further  on,  the  village  has  grown  rapidly  and  is  now  a  thriving 
business  center.  Extensive  water  works  are  about  to  be  constructed, 
for  which  bonds  have  been  issued  and  sold  to  tiie  amount  of  $95,000. 
Connection  is  conveniently  made  with  Mohawk  by  the  street  railroad, 
already  described,  and  with  Frankfort  by  another  line  which  was  opened 
in  1 87 1  ;  and  a  station  on  the  Central  road  at  a  distance  of  half  a  mile 
and  one  on  the  West  Shore  still  nearer,  give  the  place  additional  im- 
portance. 

The  writer  who  attempts  to  make  a  history  of  Ilion  mus-t  give  very 
much  of  his  attention  to  the  founding  and  growth  of  the  great  Reming- 
ton arms  works,  which  have  in  recent  years  passed  to  other  hands. 
The  farm  which  Eliphalet  Remington  (senior)  purchased  in  18 16  lay 
upon  the  banks  of  a  small  stream  (Steele's  Creek)  in  the  then  wilds  of 
Herkimer  county,  the  waters  of  which  have  now  almost  disappeared. 
Young  Remington  early  showed  remarkable  mechanical  genius,  and 
tradition  tells  of  how  he  constructed  a  gun  for  his  own  use  before  he 
reached  manhood,  an  appeal  for  one  to  his  father  having  resulted  in 
refusal.  The  gunsmith  at  Utica,  to  whom  the  boy's  gun  barrel  was 
taken  for  rifling,  saw  that  it  was  made  in  an  unusually  excellent  manner 
and  greatly  encouraged  its  maker  by  his  praise.  It  should  be  stated 
that  there  was  a  forge  of  some  kind  on  the  Remington  farm,  which 
served  the  boy's  purpose  in  making  the  gun  barrel.  When  the  fame 
of  that  first  production  began  to  spread,  as  it  soon  did,  young  Reming- 
ton was  called  on  at  first  by  a  few  and  soon  by  many  others  to  make 
guns  for  them.  At  first  he  made  only  the  barrels,  but  gradually  ex- 
tended his  operations  to  the  finishing  of  the  complete  guns.  Down  to 
about  1 83 1  the  work  was  prosecuted  at  the  home  place,  and  the  demand 
for  the  Remington  barrels  and  guns  far  exceeded  the  capacity  of  the 
insignificant  works. 


TOWK  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  205 

In  1828  the  canal  had  recently  been  opened  and  Mr.  Remington  in 
searching  for  a  proper  and  convenient  site  for  the  extension  of  his 
works,  saw  with  prophetic  eye  the  possibilities  offered  at  Ilion.  He 
accordingly  purchased  a  large  tract  of  land  here  and  erected  his  first 
shop,  a  low  one-story  building.  Here  he  carried  on  his  business,  which 
showed  a  healthy  growth.  In  1835  he  purchased  of  Ames  &  Co 
of  Springfield,  Mass  ,  their  plant  of  gun-finishing  machinery,  with  a 
part  of  an  unfinished  contract  with  the  United  States  for  some  thou- 
sands of  carbines.  The  works  were  increased,  and  before  the  comple- 
tion of  this  contract,  the  rising  establishment  was  given  another  for 
5,000  Harper's  Ferry  Rifles;  and  still  another  followed  in  quick  suc- 
cession. About  the  year  1840,  while  the  capacity  of  the  works  was 
still  insignificant  compared  to  their  later  magnitude,  Mr  Remington's 
sons,  Samuel,  Philo  and  Eliphalet,  reached  manhood  and  took  an  active 
part  in  the  growing  business,  with  the  best  of  results. 

In  1847  the  firm  began  making  pistols,  and  so  simply  and  efficiently 
were  they  constructed  that  a  large  market  was  opened  for  them  at 
once.  This  branch  of  the  business  grew  to  enormous  proportions  be- 
fore they  took  up  the  manufacture  of  their  well-known  army  and  navy 
revolver,  which  was  afterwards  adopted  by  the  United  States  govern- 
ment. For  some  time  previous  to  1865  the  firm  had  perfected  systems 
particularly  designed  for  the  conversion  of  muzzle  loaders  to  breech 
loaders,  in  rifles.  A  carbine  embodying  the  results  of  their  prior  ex- 
periments in  this  direction  was  tested  among  about  sixty  others  by  a 
board  of  government  ofificers  at  Springfield  in  1865,  and  attracted  con- 
siderable attention.  During  the  succeeding  year  valuable  improve- 
ments were  made  in  the  system,  after  which  for  many  years  the  Rem- 
ington was  the  leading  breech-loading  arm  of  the  world.  Many 
governments  in  the  old  world  adopted  it,  while  large  contracts  were 
filled  for  the  United  States,  and  the  gross  number  manufactured  reached 
much  more  than  half  a  million.  In  all  of  the  severe  tests  made  by 
expert  boards  for  the  several  governments,  including  our  own,  this  arm 
maintained  its  foremost  reputation.  So  great  was  the  capacity  of  the 
new  works  that  in  1870-71,  during  a  period  of  about  seven  months,  the 
enormous  number  of  155,000  rifles  was  shipped  to  the  French  govern- 
ment—  a  result  altogether  unprecedented  in  the  history  of  similar 
enterprises. 


206  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

In  January,  1865,  the  Remington  works  were  incorporated,  with 
Philo  Remington  as  president;  Samuel  Remington,  vice-president; 
Eliphalet  Remington,  secretary.  In  187 1  Col.  W.  C.  Squire  was 
elected  secretary  ;  he  was  a  member  of  the  Remington  family  by  mar- 
riage, and  is  now  United  States  Senator  for  the  State  of  Washington. 
The  nominal  capital  was  $1,000,000,  while  the  value  of  the  plant  was 
then  placed  at  $1,500,000.  This  latter  estimate  was  subsequently  in- 
creased to  about  $3,000,000. 

In  1856  the  manufacture  of  agricultural  implements  was  begun  at  the 
armory,  commencing  with  a  cultivator  tooth,  which  soon  found  a  large 
and  profitable  market.  To  this  was  afterwards  added  plows,  mowing 
machines,  wheel  rakes,  horse  hoes,  and  a  large  variety  of  smaller  tools. 
For  this  department  three  large  buildings  were  erected,  and  they  em- 
ployed at  one  time  about  400  men. 

In  1870  the  firm  added  to  their  line  of  products  the  manufacture  of 
sewing  machines,  a  branch  of  the  business  that  soon  became  as  suc- 
cessful as  those  preceding  it.  This  step  was  taken  partly  because  of 
the  fluctuation  in  the  manufacture  of  arms,  much  of  the  machinery  be- 
ing necessarily  idle  at  times.  An  excellent  sewing  machine  was  turned 
out  and  it  found  such  favor  that  the  sale  reached  about  35,000  in  a 
single  year. 

In  1874  still  another  important  industry  was  added  to  these  works  in 
the  manufacture  of  tj'pewriters,  which  have  since  become  almost  a 
household  necessity.  While  this  branch  of  the  business  was  being  de- 
veloped and  improved,  the  firm  became  embarrassed  through  causes 
which  we  need  not  enter  into  here.  In  1878,  to  relieve  the  financial 
embarrassment  of  the  corporation,  its  bonds  for  over  $500,000  having 
five  years  to  run,  were  issued  to  its  creditors.  In  1882,  in  order  to  pro- 
vide relief  and  get  quicker  returns  for  a  part  of  the  vast  product  of  the 
factories,  an  arrangement  was  made  whereby  the  sewing  machine  out- 
put was  disposed  of  bj"  the  Remington  Sewing  Machine  Agency,  a 
company  formed  for  the  purpose  of  marketing  all  the  machines  made 
at  the  works.  In  August  of  the  same  year  further  arrangements  to 
this  end  were  made  by  which  the  typewriters  were  sold  direct  to  the 
firm  of  Wyckoff,  Seamans  &  Benedict,  who  continued  to  handle  the 
product  of  that  department  until  March,  1886,  at  which  time  they  pur- 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  207 

chased  the  business  and  machinery  and  have  ever  since  handled  with 
great  success  both  manufacture  and  sale  of  these  machines,  giving  em- 
ployment at  the  factory  to  about  400  men.  In  1883  a  further  arrange- 
ment was  made  with  Lamberson,  Furman  &  Co.,  of  New  York,  to 
handle  all  the  sporting  arms.  All  this  served  as  a  relief  for  a  period ; 
but  unfortunately  it  was  not  permanent.  In  March,  1886,  the  entire 
typrewriter  interest  was  sold,  as  above  stated,  and  a  part  of  the  works 
leased  in  which  to  continue  manufacture.  This  action  preceded  the 
failure  of  the  company  only  a  few  weeks,  and  in  April  A.  N.  Russell 
and  Addison  Brill,  both  prominent  business  men  of  Ilion,  were  appoint- 
ed receivers  of  the  company.  They  immediately  assumed  charge  of 
the  works  and  took  an  inventory  as  soon  as  practicable.  Their  re- 
port was  ready  in  June.  Under  order  of  the  court  they  operated  the 
works  until  1888.  In  October,  1887,  they  were  given  an  order  to  sell 
the  works  at  auction,  and  the  first  sale  was  made  in  February,  1888, 
the  gun  department  being  sold  to  Hartley  &  Graham,  of  New  York, 
for  $152,000.  This  sale  included  the  armory  plant  and  all  the  goods 
in  process  of  completion.  The  sale  was  not  approved  by  the  court, 
and  a  second  took  place  in  March,  1888,  under  which  the  same  firm 
paid  $200,000  for  the  same  property.  This  firm  organized  the  Rem- 
ington Arms  Company,  with  Marcellus  Hartley  as  president;  Thomas 
G.  Bennett,  vice-president;  W.W.Reynolds,  secretary;  Wilfred  Hart- 
ley, treasurer.  About  500  hands  are  now  employed  in  these  works, 
and  new  lines  of  manufacture  have  been  added  which  have  greatly  in- 
creased the  magnitude  of  the  establishment,  particularly  the  Reming- 
ton bicycle,  which  is  now  occupying  a  prominent  place  among  the  vari- 
ous styles  of  popular  wheels. 

The  agricultural  works  were  formerly  a  co-partnership  carried  on  by 
Philo  and  Eliphalet  Remington.  Charles  Harter  was  made  assignee  of 
this  establishment  and  it  was  sold  at  auction  in  the  summer  of  1887, 
passing  afterwards  by  lease  to  the  typewriter  firm,  which  has  recently 
become  incorporated  and  purchased  the  property,  while  one  depart- 
ment of  the  original  agricultural  works  is  now  carried  on  by  A.  M. 
Ross  &  Co.,  who  make  a  variety  of  implements  and  employ  about  80 
hands.  In  the  typewriter  works  about  600  hands  are  employed  and 
nearly  20,000  machines  are  made  annually.  These  large  industries  are 
of  great  benefit  to  the  village. 


208  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

The  Ilion  Manufacturing  Company  was  organized  in  1886,  for  the 
manufacture  of  knit  goods.  The  building  and  machinery  have  recently 
been  leased  to  the  Ilion  Knitting  Company.  About  80  hands  are 
employed,  and  the  product  comprises  ladies'  and  men's  underwear. 

The  business  now  conducted  by  A.  N.  Russell  &  Sons  was  established 
by  Brill  &  Russell  in  1 871,  on  the  site  of  the  present  plant.  S.  T.  Rus- 
sell joined  the  firm  in  1880,  the  style  being  changed  to  Brill,  Russell  & 
Co.  In  1882  George  Russell  became  a  member  of  the  firm  and  the 
name  was  changed  to  A.  N.  Russell  &  Sons.  A  very  large  lumber 
trade  is  carried  on,  and  also  the  manufacture  of  sash,  doors,  blinds,  gen- 
eral interior  finishing  and  boxes.      About  40  hands  are  employed. 

Frederick  Coleman  has  been  connected  with  carriage  manufacturing 
in  Ilion  since  1875,  when  he  began  in  a  small  way.  In  1889  the  Cole- 
man Carriage  and  Wagon  Company  was  organized  as  a  corporation, 
since  which  time  large  factories  have  been  built.  Carriages  and  sleighs 
of  high  grade  are  made,  and  75  hands  employed.  Thomas  Richard- 
son, president;  Charles  Harter,  vice-president;  A.  N.  Russell,  secre- 
tary; Frederick  Coleman,  treasurer  and  general  manager. 

The  first  newspaper  in  Ilion  was  the  Ilion  Indepe7ide7it,  which  was  es- 
tablished by  George  W.  Bungay  in  1855.  The  proprietor,  who  in  later 
years  acquired  considerable  reputation  as  a  poet  and  a  lecturer,  and 
died  in  1892,  was  induced  to  come  to  the  village  and  start  a  paper  by 
the  Remingtons.  Poets  are  not  necessarily  good  editors  and  managers, 
and  the  Independent  was  not  very  successful.  In  1858  it  was  removed 
to  Utica,  its  title  changed  to  the  Central  Independent,  and  subsequently 
it  was  merged  in  the  Utica  Herald.  In  the  year  last  named,  and  after 
the  departure  of  the  Independent,  the  Remingtons  again  took  steps  to 
secure  for  the  place  the  publication  of  a  newspaper,  and  S.  B.  Loomis 
became  the  editor  and  nominal  proprietor.  The  paper  was  Republican 
in  character  and  was  called  the  Loyal  Citizen.  It  probably  did  not  pay 
financially,  at  least  for  a  period,  but  received  the  necessary  support  from 
the  Remingtons,  who  employed  various  persons  to  take  the  active  man- 
agement of  the  establishment.  Subsequently  the  name  of  the  paper 
was  changed  to  the  Ilion  Citizen,  which  it  has  since  borne.  In  1878 
Rev.  Albert  E.  Corse  was  editor  of  the  journal,  and  C.  D  Rose  busi- 
ness manager. 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  209 

In  1884  the  establishment  was  in  possession  of  Weaver  &  Mead,  and 
on  the  1st  of  January,  1885,  C.  S.  Munger  purchased  a  half  interest  in 
tlie  estabhshment  and  the  firm  style  became  Weaver  &  Munger.  At 
the  same  time  the  Herkimer  Citizen  was  founded  by  the  firm  and  has 
continued  to  the  present  time.  (See  history  of  Herkimer  village.)  In 
the  conduct  of  the  two  journals,  George  W.  Weaver  was  in  immediate 
charge  of  the  Ilion  branch,  while  Mr.  Munger  gave  his  attention  to  the 
Herkimer  sheet.  On  the  ist  of  January,  1889,  Mr.  Weaver  retired 
and  his  interest  was  purchased  jointly  by  A.  T.  Smith  and  F.  E.  Easton, 
who  with  Mr.  Munger  form  the  Citizen  Publishing  Company.  The 
Citizen  is  at  the  present  time  a  progressive,  ably  edited  paper,  and 
makes  its  influence  felt  throughout  the  county. 

The  Ilion  News  was  started  March  21,  1889,  by  C.  A.  White.  He 
sold  out  in  1891  to  C.  D.  Munsel,  the  present  publisher,  under  whose 
management  the  paper  is  gaining  in  reputation  and  circulation. 

Churches  of  Ilion. — Methodism  in  Ilion  dates  back  to  1832,  when 
Rev.  John  Ercanback,  a  preacher  in  charge  of  the  Litchfield  circuit,  or- 
ganized the  first  class,  consisting  of  John  Hunt  and  wife,  Mrs.  Bolles, 
Mrs.  Nathan  Morgan,  W.  Norton,  R.  Hunt,  and  probably  one  or  two 
others.  John  Hunt  was  the  first  class  leader  and  at  his  house  the  first 
preaching  was  held.  After  that  the  school-house  was  used  for  services. 
In  1840  Ilion,  together  with  Frankfort  and  Mohawk,  was  made  a  part 
of  the  Herkimer  circuit ;  Rev.  C.  H.  Austin  was  the  preacher  in  charge. 
In  1842  Rev.  B.  I.  Diefendorf  and  Rev.  J.  Thomas  were  sent  to  Herki- 
mer circuit  and  in  that  year  a  union  church  was  built  by  the  Methodists 
and  Universalists ;  this  was  afterwards  sold  to  the  Baptists  and  still  be- 
longs to  them.  In  1856  Frankfort  and  Ilion  were  made  a  separate  cir- 
cuit, with  Rev.  A.  M.  Smith  in  charge;  he  was  followed  for  two  years 
by  Rev.  J.  B.  Ferguson,  and  one  year  by  Rev.  O.  Squire. 

In  i860  Ilion  became  a  preaching  station,  having  some  sixty  mem- 
bers and  paying  $400  preacher's  salary.  In  1862  the  parsonage  was 
built,  Rev.  J.  F.  Dayan,  pastor.  In  1 866  was  built  the  First  Metho- 
dist Church  ;  Rev.  E.  Horr  (then  a  probationer  in  the  Conference), 
pastor.  In  1890  Mrs.  Caroline  Remington,  in  remembrance  of  her 
husband  lately  deceased,  built  and  presented  to  the  church  the  Reming- 
ton Memorial  Chapel  ;   Rev.  D.  F.  Pierce,  pastor.     The  church  has  now 


210         .  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

465  members  and  thirty  probationers  and  owns  a  church  and  parson- 
age property  worth  $35,000. 

The  pastors  of  the  church  have  been  : 

1860-61,  D.  B.  White;  1862-63,  J.  F.  Dayan  ;  1864-66,  E.  Horr,  jr.;  1867-6!).  F. 
F.  Jewel;  1870-72,  M.  S.  Hard;  1873-74,  T.  B.  Sliepherd;  1875-77,  H.  W.  Bennett; 
1878-80,  G.  M.  Mead;  1881-83,  W.  H.  Reese;  1884-80,  S.  O.  Barnes;  1887-90,  D. 
F.  Pierce;  1891-92,  R.  E.  King.     Superintendent  of  Sunday-school,  L.  B.  Walrath. 

The  Baptist  church  (tinder  title  of  the  First  Baptist  Church  of  Ilion) 
was  organized  in  April,  1865,  but  had  been  recognized  by  a  council 
which  met  in  the  Union  church  in  February  preceding,  and  consisted  of 
fifteen  members.  Rev.  R.  O.  Broady  was  the  first  pastor.  In  1869  the 
Union  church  building  was  purchased  by  the  society  and  extensively 
remodeled,  enlarged  and  refitted;  it  was  dedicated  on  the  13th  of 
May,  1869.  Among  the  pastors  who  have  served  the  church  since  the 
first  are  Revs.  W.  W.  Jones,  Judson  Davis,  James  H.  Andrews,  L. 
Golden,  Mr.  Maxfield,  Mr.  Reeder,  Mr.  Merwin,  A.  B.  Sears,  who  came 
in  1887,  and  Rev.  A.  M.  Beggs,  who  came  in  1890.  The  membership 
is  about  250.      Superintendent  of  Sunday-school,  Frederick  Coleman. 

First  Presbyterian  Church  of  Ilion. — At  a  meeting  of  the  Presbytery 
of  Utica,  held  at  Little  Falls  January  16,  1871,  Aaron  Brown  and  A. 
H.  Sumner  appeared  in  behalf  of  residents  of  Ilion  and  asked  to  be  or- 
ganized into  a  Presbyterian  church.  The  request  was  granted  and  the 
following  persons  became  members  : 

Aaron  Brown,  A.  H.  Sumner,  Mrs.  Mandana  A.  Sumner,  Rebecca  Churchill,  A.  P. 
Redway,  Mrs.  Fannie  Redway,  Sarah  A.  Southworth,"  Helen  Southworth,  Eliza  R. 
Hanson,  George  Newth,  Mrs.  Charlotte  Newth,  John  Wake,  Mrs.  Mariette  Wake, 
Thomas  G.  Hutchinson,  H.  Harper  Benedict,  Mrs.  Marie  Benedict,  Sarah  Robinfon, 
and  E.  Robinson. 

In  the  following  November  Rev.  D.  M.  Rankin  became  pastor  and 
continued  until  1878.  In  October  of  that  year  Rev.  A.  F.  Lyle  was 
called ;  he  was  succeeded  in  1882  by  Rev.  M.  E.  Dunham,  and  he  bj'  Rev. 
W.  C.  Taylor,  the  present  pastor,  whose  services  began  in  October,  1888. 
In  the  spring  of  1874  a  lot  was  purchased  on  the  corner  of  Morgan  and 
Second  streets  for  $4,500,  and  there  the  present  handsome  brick  church 
was  erected  ;   the  entire  property  is  worth  about  $40,000. 

The  first  elders  of  the  church  were  Aaron  Brown  and  A.  H.  Sumner. 
The   deacons   were    George   W.   Newth   and   James  Truax.     The   first 


TOWN  OF  GERMAN  FLATS.  'ill 

trustees  were  A.  M.  Osgood,  S.  W.  Skinner  and  Russel  Perkins.  The 
present  trustees  are  F.  O.  Harter,  J.  K.  Harris,  A.  H.  Sumner,  N.  J- 
Newth,  C.  W.  Carpenter,  H.  A.  House,  J.  C.  Truax.  Elders,  A.  H. 
Sumner,  N.  J.  Newth,  J.  K.  Harris,  F.  O.  Harter,  Robert  Watson. 
The  church  membership  is  143. 

Church  of  the  Annunciation. — In  1845  Rev.  Father  John  McMenomy, 
a  Roman  CathoHc  priest,  established  a  mission  at  this  place  in  connec- 
tion with  missions  at  Mohawk,  Frankfort  and  Herkimer.  He  was 
stationed  at  Little  Falls  and  attended  this  mission  from  that  place,  con- 
tinuing to  do  so  until  1856,  when  Rev.  Father  William  Howard  took 
charge  of  this  missionary  field.  He  lived  in  Mohawk  the  first  year  and 
preached  in  Varley  Hall,  in  that  village.  In  August,  1857,  Father 
Howard  purchased  of  Mr.  J.  P.  Pelton,  of  Ilion,  the  house  and  lot,  con- 
taining two  and  a  half  acres  of  land,  upon  which  the  church  and  par- 
sonage now  stands,  paying  therefor  $4,500.  In  April,  1868,  he  in- 
augurated measures  for  building  a  church  edifice,  and  in  August  of  the 
same  year  the  present  church  was  dedicated  by  J.  J.  Conroy,  bishop  of 
Albany,  assisted  by  twelve  priests.  The  buildings  cost  $14,000,  and 
the  property  is  at  the  present  time  worth  $30,000  and  is  clear  from 
debt.  The  membership  comprises  about  200  families.  The  station  is 
now  and  has  for  many  years  been  in  charge  of  Rev.  Father  J.  F. 
Hyland. 

The  Catholic  Parish  of  the  Annunciation,  including  the  villages  and 
surrounding  country  of  Herkimer,  Mohawk,  Ilion  and  Frankfort,  was 
organized  into  a  mission  in  1867,  by  Rt.  Rev.  J.  J.  Conroy,  with  Rev. 
William  Howard  as  first  resident  pastor.  His  assistants  at  different 
times  were  Revs.  A.  P.  Ludden,  J.  F.  Mullany  and  W.  J.  Smith. 

Owing  to  his  zealous  faith  and  untiring  energy  Father  Howard  was 
very  successful  in  securing  a  suitable  church,  rectory  and  cemetery,  and 
for  the  most  part  paying  for  them.  His  continued  illness,  and  local 
business  depression,  induced  him  to  retire  to  Herkimer  in  1878.  He 
was  succeeded  by  Rev.  J.  F.  Hyland.  During  his  incumbency  of  four- 
teen years  the  church,  cemetery  and  rectory  have  been  enlarged  and 
greatly  improved.  The  debt  also  has  been  paid  and  there  are  a  few 
thousand  dollars  in  the  treasury. 

Though  Herkimer  was  severed  from  the  mission  in  1878,  and  Frank- 
fort in  1886,  the  church  attendance  has  not  decreased. 


'2l2  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Rev.  J.  F.  Hyland  was  the  second  child  of  a  large  family  in  the 
town  of  Hamilton,  Madison  county,  N.  Y.  He  graduated  successively 
from  the  public  schools  there,  Eastman's  Commercial  Business  College, 
Poughkeepsie  ;  Niagara  University,  Suspension  Bridge,  and  St.  Joseph's 
Theological  Seminary,  Troy,  where  he  was  ordained  in  1874. 

He  was  assistant  pastor  of  St.  John  the  Baptist's  church,  Syracuse, 
and  St.  Mary's,  Amsterdam,  and  became  pastor  of  the  Church  of  the 
Annunciation,  Ilion,  in  1878. 

St.  Augustine's  Protestant  Episcopal  Church  was  incorporated  on  the 
9th  of  August,  1869,  with  the  following  officers:  Wardens,  Floyd  C. 
Shepard  and  John  W.  Newhouse;  vestrymen.  S.  Bosworth  Johnson, 
William  Onyans,  William  R.  Russell,  David  W.  Vanderburgh,  Richard 
Hard  and  George  Rix.  In  August,  1869,  Rev.  Charles  H.  Lancaster 
was  chosen  rector,  and  was  succeeded  November  i,  1871,  by  Rev. 
George  H.  Hepburn.  Succeeding  rectors  have  been  Revs.  C.  F.  A. 
Bielby,  Edward  M.  Pecke,  J.  B.  Hubbs,  Edwin  Armstrong,  J.  Dolby 
Skeene,  S.  M.  Griswold,  and  the  present  rector.  Rev.  William  Mason 
Cook,  who  came  in  1888  There  are  173  communicants  in  the  church, 
and  following  are  the  wardens  :  F.  C.  Shepard,  R.  L.  Winegar  ;  vestry- 
men, George  P.  Rix,  T.  J.  Behan,  George  H.  Barlow,  George  H.  Dyett, 
Alfred  Williamson,  N.  A.  Hanchett,  Walter  C.  Rix  and  Walter  S.  Baker. 

The  present  officers  of  the  village  of  Ilion  are  as  follows  :  President, 
Dr.  A.  J.  Douglass;  trustees,  Seward  Hakes,  Harrington  P.  Whitney, 
M.  L.  Burke,  John  Van  Gumster ;  clerk,  Z.  E.  Cooper;  chief  engineer 
of  the  fire  department,  M.  M.  Kane;  chief  of  police,  Daniel  Foley.  S. 
G.  Heacock  is  postmaster. 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER. 


CHAPTER  XI. 

THE    TOWN    OF    HERKIMER. 


WHEN  the  town  of  Herkimer  was  organized  in  1788,  it  contained  all 
that  part  of  the  county  of  Montgomery  bounded  northerly  by  the 
north  bounds  of  the  State;  easterly  by  Palatine  (then  extending  to  the  west 
bounds  of  the  present  town  of  Manheim) ;  southerly  by  the  Mohawk  Riv- 
er, and  westerly  by  a  north  and  south  line  running  across  the  Mohawk 
River  at  the  fording  place  "  near  the  house  of  William  Cunningham, 
leaving  the  same  house  to  the  west  of  said  line."  This  fixed  the  west 
line  of  the  town  on  the  present  western  limits  of  the  county,  north  of  the 
Mohawk,  and  covered  the  area  now  embraced  in  the  towns  of  Fairfield, 
Little  Falls,  Newport,  Norway,  Ohio,  Russia,  Schuyler,  and  Wilmurt, 
besides  a  considerable  portion  of  the  northern  part  of  the  State  outside 
of  the  present  county  line.  These  limits  also  embrace  all  that  portion 
of  the  German  Flats  and  Kingsland  districts  north  of  the  Mohawk  and 
east  of  the  present  westerly  bounds  of  the  county. 

The  town  as  at  present  constituted  is  bounded  on  the  north  by  New- 
port and  Fairfield  ;  east  by  West  Canada  Creek  and  Little  Falls  ;  south- 
erly by  the  Mohawk  River,  and  westerly  by  Schuyler.  The  whole  of 
Winne's  and  portions  of  Burnetsfield,  Hasenclever's,  Colden's  and  Wil- 
lett's  patents,  and  some  lots  of  the  Royal  Grant  and  Glen's  purchase 
are  in  this  town. 

The  settlement  of  the  territory  included  in  this  town  has  been  alluded 
to  in  the  early  pages  of  this  work.  It  will  be  remembered  that  the  In- 
dian deed  of  Herkimer  county  lands  was  under  date  of  1721,  and  the 
land  was  afterwards  secured  to  the  settlers  by  the  colonial  patent  under 
date  of  April  25,  1725.  At  that  date  the  lands  had  been  surveyed,  num- 
bered and  assigned  to  persons  by  name.  One  hundred  acres  were  as- 
signed to  each  of  the  ninety-two  persons  named  in  the  patent,  on 
the  north  side  of  the  river.  In  order  to  make  an  equal  division  of  the 
flats  surrounding  the  present  village  of  Herkimer,  thirty  acres  were  as- 
signed to  each  person  who  did  not  secure  intervale  lands  elsewhere  on  the 


214  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

river.  The  thirty  acres  were  designated  as  lowland,  and  to  those  who  had 
the  thirty  acres  each,  were  also  assigned  seventy  acres  of  upland,  called 
woodland  in  the  patent;  the  thirty-acre  lots  and  seventy- acre  lots  were 
designated  by  the  same  numbers,  and  in  order  to  bring  each  of  the 
seventy-acre  lots  near  to  its  corresponding  thirty-acre  lot,  the  former 
were  made  about  sixteen  rods  wide  on  the  river,  and  almost  two  and 
one-half  miles  long.  (See  map,  page  38.)  The  names  of  the  Palatines 
who  were  to  settle  on  the  lots  were  certified  to  the  surveyor- general 
and  certificates  issued  to  the  settlers  in  the  winter  and  spring  of  1723. 
The  certificate  of  the  lot  embracing  the  site  of  the  village  of  Herkimer 
bears  date  March  28,  1723.  This  lot  was  assigned  to  Gertrude  Petri, 
wife  of  Johan  Jost  Petri,  and  contained  eighty- six  acres. 

At  the  election  of  town  officers  in  March,  1809,  the  following  persons 
were  chosen  : 

For  supervisor,  Hen i-y  Staring;  town  clerk,  Melger  Fols;  assessors,  Melger  Fols, 
George  Smith,  Melger  Tlmm  ;  collector,  George  Fols  ;  constables,  George  FoU,  Adam 
Bauman;  commissioners  of  highways,  Peter  F.  Bellinger,  John  Demiitli,  Jacob  N. 
Weber;  overseers  of  the  poor,  Henrv  Staring,  George  Weber,  jr.,  Michael  Myers; 
overseers  of  highways,  Marx  Demuth,  Philip  Helmer,  Adam  Hartman,  Hannes  De- 
muth,  Peter  Weber,  Philip  Herter,  Hannes  H.\\ts.  jr.,  Hannes  Eiseman;  pound- 
raasters,  George  AVeber,  jr.,  Peter  Barky,  Hannes  Demuth,  Nicholas  Hilts,  Hannes 
Schell. 

From  1725  to  the  close  of  the  Revolution  the  foregoing  county  his- 
tory comprises  very  little  of  general  moment  that  did  not  take  place  in 
this  town  and  German  Flats.  Fort  Dayton  was  a  small  stockaded  fort 
erected  on  the  site  of  the  village  of  Herkimer  ^  and  within  its  limits  was 
included  the  land  on  which  the  Reformed  church  and  the  court-house 
now  stand. 

'  Regarding  the  name  o£  "  Herkimer  "  as  applied  to  this  town,  Gen.  F.  E.  Spinner  wrote  in  1878 
as  follows  :  "  The  present  nomenclature  came  about  by  a  most  singular  misunderstanding  between 
Hon.  Simeon  De  Witt,  then  surveyor-general  of  the  State,  and  Dr.  William  Petry,  the  maternal 
grandfather  ot  Judge  Earl,  of  Herkimer.  The  doctor  was  one  of  the  most  intelligent  of  the  set- 
tlers of  the  upper  Mohawk  valley,  and  having  previously  for  several  years  been  a  member  of  the 
State  Legislature,  was  sent  to  Poughkeepsie,  where  the  Legislature  then  sat,  in  regard  to  the 
erection  of  new  towns  in  the  then  county  of  Montgomery.  This  was  in  1788.  The  names  ot  Ger- 
man Flats  and  Herkimer  had  been  agreed  upon,  but  the  location  of  the  two  was  not  understood  by 
the  surveyor-general.  That  officer  had  his  survey  maps  by  patents  before  him.  He  asked  the 
doctor  as  to  the  situation  of  each.  Viewing  the  ground  from  his  standpoint,  below  the  mouth  of 
the  Mohawk,  looking  up  that  river,  he  answered  that  Herkimer  was  on  the  if/i  and  German  Flats 
on  the  ri^/tt.  The  surveyor-general  supposed  that  the  doctor  meant  the  right  and  left  banks  of  the 
Mohawk  as  the  river  flowed ;  so  wrote  the  names  on  his  map,  and  so  the  error  was  enacted  into  a 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  215 

Previous  to  the  Revolution  the  German  settlers  looked  upon  the  site 
of  Herkimer  village  as  desirable  for  a  business  center,  as  it  rose  grace- 
fully above  the  surrounding  lands,  and  was  early  known  as  "  the  Stone 
Ridge."  This  site  was  embraced  in  lot  17,  assigned,  as  we  have  said, 
to  Gertrude  Petri.  On  account  of  its  desirable  features  for  compact 
building,  the  settlers  complained  to  some  extent  that  it  had  been 
granted  to  one  person.  In  consequence,  Mrs.  Petri,  or  members  of  her 
family,  executed  a  deed  dated  July  i,  1765,  to  forty-six  of  the  Burnets- 
field  lot  owners,  and  the  deed  ran  to  those  persons  whether  they  were 
then  dead  or  living,  and  conveyed  sixty-two  and  three  fourths  acres 
lying  southwardly  from  an  east  and  west  line  running  just  north  of  the 
present  Palmer  House.  Mrs.  Petri  retained  the  part  of  her  lot  lying 
north  of  this  line,  and  there  the  court-house,  the  Reformed  church,  and 
other  buildings  now  stand 

Little  was  done  until  after  the  Revolution  towards  making  this  site 
a  center  of  close  settlement.  In  1793  steps  were  taken  for  the  divi- 
sion of  the  tract  into  small  lots,  and  Evans  Wharry,  Isaac  Brayton, 
and  Phineas  Gates  were  the  commissioners  for  the  task.  The  strange 
proceeding  was  then  witnessed  of  granting  lots  principally  to  dead 
persons  and  seventy  years  after  the  lots  in  the  original  patent  had  been 
assigned  to  them.  The  sixty-two  and  three-fourths  acres  were  divided 
into  two  sections,  the  present  Main  street  being  the  dividing  line,  and  a 
street  was  run  through  each  section  parallel  with  Main  street.  They 
then  laid  out  the  land  into  half  acre  lots,  bounding  the  same  on  the 
three  streets  that  are  now  known  as  Main,  Prospect  and  Washington 
streets,  and  making  forty-six  lots  in  each  division.  A  map  was  made 
showing  the  numbers  and  positions  of  the  lots,  and  the  forty-six  names 
were  written  on  slips  of  paper  and  placed  in  a  hat  to  be  drawn  out,  the 
first  drawing  being  written  on  lot  No.  i,  and  so  on  through  the  whole 
list.  Each  person,  dead  or  alive,  whose  name  was  read  in  the  proceed- 
ings, was  assigned  two  lots  of  the  same  number,  one  in  each  division. 
Nicholas  Feller,  who  received  lots  No.  4,  was  dead  before  the  deed  was 
executed  by  which  the  sixty-two  and  three- fourths  acres  were  granted. 

law,  and  the  reversal  of  the  names  was  not  known  until  too  late,  and  so  they  have  remained  ever 
since.  The  old  and  true  German  Flats,  which  are  situate  in  the  angle  formed  by  the  confluence  of 
the  Mohawk  with  the  West  Canada  Creek,  were  by  thisj  mistake  placed  on  the  opposite  side  of  the 
Mohawk,  and  Fort  Herkimer  was  oarrried  by  force  of  law  to  the  German  Flats." 


216  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

John  Jost  Herkimer  was  assigned  lots  45,  and  he,  too,  was  dead  long 
before  the  division  was  made;  and  the  same  might  be  said  of  most  of 
the  others.  It  is  under  this  partition  that  titles  to  the  village  lots  have 
since  been  held.  The  title  to  the  portion  of  the  Stone  Ridge  retained 
by  Mrs.  Petri,  with  the  exception  of  the  acre  belonging  to  the  Reformed 
churcl),  passed  into  the  hands  of  Gen.  Michael  Myers  soon  after  the 
Revolutionary  War,  and  from  him  the  title  to  all  that  part  of  the  village 
site  is  held,  including  the  title  to  the  land  on  which  the  county  build- 
ings stand.  The  original  map  made  by  the  commissioners  contains 
the  following  names  of  those  who  received  lots,  given  with  the  original 
spelling  : 

Mary  Catharine  Coen,  Lodwick  Richet,  Jurgh  Dox.stater,  John  Adam  Staring, 
Michael  Edick,  Johonas  Pownrad,  Adam  Michael  Smith,  Nicholas  Woolver,  John 
Vanderline,  Wendriclv  Myer,  John  Jurfrh  Smith,  John  Casler,  Johona.s  Bellinger,  Law- 
rence Harder,  Nicholas  Staring,  Lendert  Helmer,  Lodwick  'Pears,  Godfrey  Reele, 
Jacob  Weaver,  Dedrick  Tamouth,  Christian  Felmer,  John  Jost  Herkimer,  Hendrick 
Orendorf,  Nicholas  Wever,  Johonas  Miller,  Frederick  Bellinger,  John  Jurgh  Kast, 
jr.,  Peter  Bellinger,  Rodolph  Korsing,  Jurgh  Herkheimer,  John  Michael  Edigh, 
Widow  M.  Folts,  Hendrick  Spoon,  John  Jost  Petrie,  Peter  Spier,  Johonas  Boar- 
man,  Thomas  Shoemaker,  Philip  Helmer,  Conradt  Richet,  John  Adam  Helmer, 
Frederick  Staring,  Anna  Catharine  Land,  Nicholas  Feller,  John  Adam  Bowman, 
.Johan  Jurgh  Kast,  Johanas  Hess. 

It  need  hardly  be  stated  that  numerous  descendants  of  these  families 
are  still  living  in  the  town  of  Herkimer  and  in  other  parts  of  the 
county. 

Here  and  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river  on  the  flats  the  settlers 
had,  before  the  outbreak  of  the  French  and  Indian  war,  made  for  them- 
selves comfortable  homes,  built  mills  and  churches,  and  were  living  in 
contented  peace. 

The  building  of  the  stone  church  and  a  mill  south  of  the  river  is 
described  in  the  preceding  history  of  the  town  of  German  Flats ;  these 
were  the  first  in  the  present  limits  of  the  county.  Then  followed  the 
erection  of  the  church  on  the  site  of  the  Reformed  church  in  Herkimer 
village,  described  a  little  further  on.  A  grist- mill  that  was  burned  in 
the  invasion  of  November,  1757,  was  situated  about  half  a  mile  north 
of  the  turnpike,  near  the  residence  of  George  W.  Pine,  on  lands  of  the 
late  Hon.  I'rederick  P.  Bellinger.  This  mill  was  built  shortly  after  the 
year  1733  by  Jacob  Weber,  to  whom   was  assigned  lot  No.  10  in  the 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  217 

patent  on  the  north  side  of  the  river.  He  bought,  July  2,  1733,  an  acre 
of  land  in  lot  No.  11,  adjoining  his  lot,  to  make  with  his  lot  a  con- 
venient mill  site.  In  1769  Dr.  William  Petry,  then  a  prominent  and 
leading  German  in  the  valley,  took  a  bond  from  Jacob  Weber  and  his 
son,  George  Jacob  Weber,  for  a  deed  of  this  mill  site.  The  condition 
in  that  bond  shows  that  it  was  the  site  of  a  former  mill,  and  is  as  fol- 
lows : 

The  condition  of  this  obligation  is  such  that  if  the  above  bounden  George  Jacob 
Weber  and  Jacob  Weber,  Senior,  their  heirs,  executors,  administrators,  or  any  of  them, 
do  will  and  truly  deliver  for  the  first  of  Jacob  Weber,  Senior,  one  acre  of  land  in  the 
clove  of  Christnian's  mill  Kill,  and  in  Frederick  Reegle's  House  place,  where  the  oldmill 
was,  and  then  together  out  of  their  own  House  place  near  by  above  this  acre  the  land 
lying  on  the  same  Kill  from  one  hill  to  the  opposite  one  when  he  finds  necessary  for 
the  use  of  a  mill  unto  said  William  Petry,  etc.l 

This  extract  shows  that  there  was  a  mill  on  this  site  before  the 
burning  of  1757.  It  was  one  of  the  grist-mills  mentioned  in  the  ac- 
count of  that  disastrous  event.  There  is  a  tradition  that  John  Christ- 
man  had  a  mill,  probably  a  saw- mill,  on  this  creek.  On  the  site  men- 
tioned in  the  bond  above  referred  to,  Dr.  William  Petry  erected  a  grist- 
mill, a  potashery,  dwelling  house  and  other  buildings.  These  were  all 
burned  at  the  time  of  Brant's  invasion  in  1778. 

The  following  petition  throws  light  upon  the  history  of  Fort  Dayton 
(Herkimer),  after  the  Revolution,  and  indicates  that  the  Legislature 
gave  some  needed  relief  to  poor  widows  whose  husbands  were  killed  in 
the  war: 

To  the  Honorable  the  Legislature  of  the  State  of  New  Fork  our  humble  petition 
sheweth  : 

We  the  subscribers  humbly  beg  to  take  in  consideration  our  poor  circumstances,  it 
has  been  pleased  to  grant  ten  of  the  poor  widows  occasioned  by  the  enemy,  the  Legis- 
lature by  the  session  of  last  spring,  some  provision  where  Peter  Tygert,  Esq.,  should 
have  the  charge  of,  we  never  have  got  anything  yet  until  this  moment,  and  have 
spended  the  chief  parts  of  our  clothes  and  effects  for  the  maintenance  of  our  farailys. 

We  therefore  humbly  beg  to  order  this  provision  to  be  issued  to  us  by  Peter  Tygert, 
Esq.,  to  be  forwarded  so  that  we  may  in  our  distress  be  supported.  Then  further, 
since  the  petition  of  us  has  been  grant  four  other  families  have  shared  the  same  fate 
with  us  and  Catharine  Demood,  Anna  Colsh,  Catharine  Reigel  and  Anna  Lents,  where 
two  of  their  husbands  had  been  killed  and  two  taken  prisoners. 

1  Samuel  Earl's  papers. 
28 


218  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

So  we  humbly  beg  to  grant  us  some  support  wberefore  we  shall  ever  pray  and  call 
ourselCs  your  honours'  most  obedient  humble  servants. 

Fort  Dayton,  March  .'id,   1787. 

Elizabeth  Ayres,  Catharine  Rinhill, 

Catharine  Demood,  Stbilla  Dinis, 

Eva  Keller,  Anna  Colsh, 

Ijertrand  Steinway,  Margareth  Olementz, 

Catharine  Reigel,  Maria  Skikk, 

Susan  Otd,  Anna  Lentz, 

Maroareth  Brown,  Magdalein  Snek.' 

Nicholas  Feller,  who  has  already  been  mentioned  as  receiving  a  lot 
in  the  division  under  Gertrude  Petry's  deed,  and  who  also  had  posses- 
sion of  a  tract  in  German  Flats,  was  assigned  lot  No.  7,  lowland  and  up- 
land, on  the  north  side  of  the  river.  The  upland  lot  was,  according  to 
the  late  Samuel  Earl,  "  the  house  place  and  is  the  next  lot  cast  of  the 
paper-mill  in  the  village  of  Herkimer.  There  he  lived  and  died.  He 
made  his  will  in  1734,  one  of  the  witnesses  to  which  was  John  Jost  Petri, 
his  nearest  neighbor,  then  living  on  the  adjoining  lot  No.  8,  whereon 
stands  the  paper-mill  of  Messrs.  Miller  &  Churchill.  In  his  will  he 
gives  his  lot  to  his  daughter,  Maria  Elizabeth,  wife  of  George  Hilts. 
The  lot  was  afterwards  owned  by  George  Hilts's  son,  Nicholas  Hilts,  and 
he  was  succeeded  by  his  son,  George  Hilts,  who  died  in  1857."  This  is 
one  of  the  few  lots  that  remained  in  possession  of  descendants  of  the 
original  holder  until  very  recent  years.  Another  lot  that  may  be  men- 
tioned as  remaining  in  the  family  during  a  number  of  succeeding  gener- 
ations was  that  of  the  Doxtaders,  about  a  mile  west  of  the  court-house  on 
the  turnpike,  lot  No.  20.  On  this  lot  John  Doxtader,  father  of  Frede- 
rick, was  wounded  by  the  Indians  in  August,  17S0,  while  at  work  with 
his  brothers  on  the  lowlands  near  the  river.  Frederick  Doxtader  lived 
to  a  great  age,  and  the  lot  passed  to  his  daughter,  wife  of  Alexander  M. 
Gray,  who  occupied  it. 

Before  the  War  of  the  Revolution  Dr.  William  Petry-  purchased  lot 
No.  1 1,  lowland  and  upland.  On  the  southerly  end  of  the  upland  stands 
the  Samuel  Earl  homestead,  which  is  still  in  possession  of  the  family. 
William  Smith,  also,  still  occupies  the  home  of  his  ancestors.  Members 
of  the  Smith  and  Shell  families  occupied  until  recent  years  the  farms  on 

'  Samuel  Earl's  papers. 

'  For  sketch  of  Dr.  Petry  see  Chapter  on  the  Medical  Profession, 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  219 

the  east  side  of  the  West  Canada  Creek  where  their  ancestors  lived  and 
died. 

The  original  Jacob  Wever  drew  lot  No.  lo  in  the  Burnetsfield  assign- 
ment ;  the  upland  lot,  upon  which  he  settled  and  lived,  is  at  the  head 
of  Main  street,  in  the  village.  After  his  death  it  passed  to  his  sons, 
Peter  and  George  Jacob,  the  latter  getting  the  western  half  This  land 
remained  with  members  of  the  family  until  recent  years. 

The  emigration  into  the  county  after  the  Revolution  took  place  chiefly 
between  1785  and  1800,  and  consisted  largely  of  shrewd  New  Eng- 
landers.  Between  this  Yankee  element  and  the  German  settlers  there 
was  considerable  rivalry  and  antagonism  for  some  years,  but  ultimately 
the  former  became  dominant,  and  the  Germans  gradually  relinquished 
the  conduct  of  affairs  and  supremacy  in  manufacturing  and  commercial 
matters.      Brief  sketches  of  a  few  of  the  settlers  follow  : 

Henry  Ellison  came  into  Herkimer  soon  after  the  county  was  created 
and  settled  on  the  West  Canada  Creek,  some  miles  north  of  the  village, 
where  he  engaged  in  farming  and  tanning.  He  was  an  intelligent,  pro- 
gressive man  and  occupied  several  positions  of  trust ;  was  presidential 
elector  in  1836,  and  held  minor  offices.  He  died  at  his  home  leaving 
an  ample  estate  to  his  posterity. 

Dan  Chapman  was  a  native  of  Connecticut  and  came  into  the  county 
at  an  early  period,  settling  at  the  Stone  Ridge  in  the  village,  where  he 
engaged  in  mercantile  pursuits  and  afterwards  adopted  the  legal  pro- 
fession He  was  admitted  to  the  bar  previous  to  1804,  was  appointed 
surrogate  in  1803,  re-appointed  in  1808,  and  held  the  office  until  1816. 
He  removed  to  Oneida  county  about  1820. 

Joab  Griswold  settled  at  Herkimer  village,  coming  from  Connecticut, 
his  native  State,  early  in  the  history  of  this  county.  He  was  an  active 
politician  and  for  his  services  in  the  Federal  party  was  given  the  office 
of  county  clerk  in  March,  1798,  which  he  held  six  years.  Although  a 
lawyer  by  profession,  Mr.  Griswold  followed  farming  while  he  lived  at 
Herkimer.  Some  of  his  descendants  lived  in  Herkimer  many  years 
after  the  death  of  their  ancestor. 

Elihu  Griswold  was  a  member  of  the  medical  profession,  but  did  not 
follow  it  after  he  settled  in  Herkimer  before  the  beginning  of  the  pres- 
ent century.      He  was  appointed  county  clerk  in  April,  1804,  and  held 


220  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

the  office  six  years;  was  superseded,  but  reappointed  in  i8ll  and  held 
the  office  until  his  death  in  i8i2.  He  was  succeeded  by  hisson-in  law, 
Aaron  Hackley,  jr.  Mr.  Griswold  was  born  in  Herkimer  August  17, 
1756,  and  Idied  here  January  12,  1812.  He  was  educated  and  accom- 
plished ;  a  man  of  energy  of  character,  courteous,  generous  and  social. 

Philo  M.  Hackley  was  a  native  of  Connecticut,  and  came  with  his 
father,  Aaron  Hackley,  to  the  town  of  Salisbury  in  1795.  Philo  re- 
moved within  a  few  years  to  Herkimer  village  and  engaged  in  mercan- 
tile operations,  which  he  continued  nearly  twenty  years.  He  was  an 
honorable  and  high-minded  man  ;  was  a  Federalist  in  politics  and  be- 
longed to  that  energetic  and  "  talented  body  of  men  who  early  estab- 
lished themselves  at  the  county  seat,  and  during  several  years  exerted 
a  potent  influence  in  the  county."  ^  He  was  appointed  surrogate 
of  the  county  in  1807,  but  a  political  revolution  displaced  him  in  the 
following  year;  was  appointed  sheriff  in  1810,  but  another  change  re- 
moved him  from  that  office.  At  the  spring  election  of  18 19  he  was 
chosen  member  of  Assembly,  with  James  Orton  and  Jacob  Markel!, 
"  three  old  fashioned  and  highly  respected  Federalists."  Mr.  Hackley 
lived  several  years  in  Little  Falls  and  died  in  Michigan,  whither  he  had 
removed. 

Henry  Hopkins  was  one  of  the  early  merchants  of  Herkimer.  He 
came  hither  at  an  early  day;  was  appointed  sheriff  in  18 13,  held  the 
office  two  years,  and  in  1815  was  elected  to  the  Assembly;  was  a  can- 
didate in  1816,  but  was  defeated.      He  died  at  Herkimer  in  1827. 

Michael  Myers  has  been  mentioned  in  connection  with  the  history  of 
this  town.  He  was  a  native  of  New  Jersey,  and  of  German  descent. 
He  was  not  of  the  original  Palatine  emigrants,  but  his  ancestors  may 
have  been  among  those  who  came  here  in  1722.  He  was  wounded  at 
Johnstown  in  1781,  and  was  then  about  twenty-eight  years  of  age. 
Upon  the  organization  of  the  county  courts  he  was  appointed  one  of 
the  judges  and  a  justice  of  the  peace  in  February,  1791,  and  was  sev- 
eral times  reappointed  ;  was  elected  the  first  member  of  Assembly 
after  the  erection  of  the  county  and  re- elected  the  following  year.  He 
was  elected  to  the  Senate  in  1795  and  served  four  years,  and  was  for 
many  years  a  prominent  and  influential   politician   in  Herkimer  county. 

'  Judge  Benton's  writings. 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  221 

He  was  a  man  of  great  energy  and  acquired  a  large  fortune.  He  died 
at  Herkimer  February  17,  18 14,  at  the  age  of  sixty-one  years,  leaving 
numerous  descendants.  Peter  M.  Myers,  appointed  county  clerk  in 
1 8 10,  was  a  son,  and  he  also  left  descendants  in  the  county. 

Ephraim  Snow  lived  and  died  at  Herkimer  village.  He  came  from 
Connecticut  some  time  before  1800  ;  was  appointed  sheriff  in  1806  and 
held  the  office  only  one  year.      He  was  a  respected  citizen. 

Chauncey  Woodruff  was  a  Herkimer  merchant  for  many  years.  He 
was  appointed  sheriff  of  the  county  after  its  erection,  under  date  of 
March  19,  1798,  and  held  the  office  by  reappointment  until  1802.  He 
died  in  Herkimer  in  1810. 

Sketches  of  many  other  residents  of  the  town  will  be  found  in  cliap- 
ters  relating  to  the  legal  and  medical  professions. 

For  a  few  years  succeeding  the  opening  of  the  Erie  Canal  the  out- 
look for  growth  in  the  village  and  town  of  Herkimer  was  not  very 
promising  ;  but  a  few  years  later,  when  the  Utica  and  Schenectady 
Railroad  passed  directly  through  the  village,  and  the  construction  of 
the  hydraulic  canal  was  consummated,  Herkimer  seemed  destined  to 
take  its  proper  place  as  one  of  the  leading  towns  of  Central  New  York. 
The  farming  community  promptly  and  energetically  entered  upon  the 
dairy  industry  and  soon  placed  the  town  well  up  among  the  foremost  in 
the  manufacture  of  cheese  and  butter. 

The  opening  of  the  Herkimer  and  Poland  Narrow  Gauge  Railroad 
in  1 88 1  brought  down  to  the  village  a  considerable  volume  of  northern 
trade,  adding  its  strength  to  the  welfare  of  the  village ;  and  this  road, 
now  just  transformed  into  a  first  class  railroad,  extending  directly  across 
the  northern  part  of  the  State,  is  surely  destined  to  add  greatly  to  the 
wealth  and  growth  of  this  town  and  village. 

Following  is  a  list  of  supervisors  of  Herkimer,  with  date  of  their 
incumbency  : 

Henry  Staring,  1789,  '90;  John  Porteous,  1791-95;  Chauncey  Woodrufi,  1796,  '97; 
Jacob  Griswold,  1798;  John  Meyer,  1799,  1800  ;  Matthias  B.  Talmadge,  1801  ;  Evans 
Wharry,  1802,  '03  ;  Ellihu  Griswold,  1804,  '05 ;  Jost  D.  Petrie,  1806-09,  1816 ;  Eben 
Britton,  1810;  John  McCombs,  1811-13  ;  Winsor  Manard,  1814,  '15;  Philo  M.  Hack- 
ley,  1817-19;  Jacob  Small,  1820-25;  Jacob  N.  Petrie,  1826,  '27;  Frederick  P.  Bell- 
inger, 1828-32,  1835,  1848;  James  B.  Hunt,  1833,  '34;  Aaron  Hackley,  1836, '37; 
Nicholas  Smith,   1838;    Frederick  Dockstader,  1839;  Ezra  Graves,   1840, '41 ;  Alex- 


222  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

anderM.  Gray,  1842,  '43,  1862-66;  Peter  C.  Helmer.  1844;  Robert  Ethridge,  1845, 
'40;  E.  H.  Williams,  1847;  Robert  Earl,  1849,  1861  ;  Frederick  A.  Helmer,  1850,  '51; 
Peter  Countryman,  1852 ;  John  D.  Spinner,  1853  ;  Charles  Spmner,  1854-58 ;  Marcus 
W.  Rasbach,  18G9,  1881-83,  1891 ;  James  A.  Suiter,  1860,  1872;  William  Smith,  1867, 
'68;  C.  C.  Witherstine,  1869-71,  1878;  Erwin  A.  Munson,  1873;  George  P.  Folts, 
1874;  Clinton  Beckwith,  1875;  George  W.  Smith,  1876;  Joab  Small,  1877;  Henry 
AlDeimel,  1879,  '80,  1885;  J.  Horatio  Huyck,  1884;  Lewis  B.  Jones,  1886,  '87;  Adam 
J.Smith,  1888, '89:  WiUiam  B.  Howell,  1890;  William  Horrocks,  1892. 

THE   VILLAGE    OF    HERKIMER. 

The  village  of  Herkimer  is  the  oldest  in  the  county,  and  was  incor- 
porated April  6,  1807,  Geneva,  Cooperstown  and  Utica  then  being  the 
only  villages  west  of  Herkimer,  and  the  two  former  antedated  Herki- 
mer by  only  a  few  days.  The  population  at  the  date  of  incorporation 
was  probably  about  300.  In  1820  it  was  547  ;  in  1872,  2,000,  and  at 
the  present  time  about  4,000. 

The  village  records  as  they  exist  at  present  begin  at  the  year  1841, 
since  which  time  the  following  presidents  have  been  chosen  : 

1841-44,  C.  Kathern;  1845,  Ezra  Graves;  1846,  Peter  F.  Bellinger;  1847,  Christian 
F.  Spinner;  1848-50,  C.  A.  Burton;  1851,  '52,  A.  H.  Laflin  ;  1853,  Charles  Spinner; 
1854,  J.  D.  Spinner;  1855,  A.  M.  Gray;  1856-8.  George  W.  Pine  ;  1859,  Samuel  Earl  ; 
1860,  George  W.  Pine ;  1861.  Byron  Laflin  ;  1862,  '63,  Wm.  H.  Barter ;  1864,  B.  Laflin  ; 
1865,  Robert  Earl;  1866,  William  Smith;  1867,  Jeremiah  L.  Haner;  1868,  D.  J. 
Curtiss:  1869,  George  W.  Pine;  1870,  J.  G.  Bellinger;  1871,  George  P.  Folts;  1872, 
J.  D.  Spinner;  1873,  William  Smith  ;  1874,  D.  M.  Devendorf ;  1875,  A.  T.  Freeman  ; 
1876,  J.  D.  Henderson  ;  1877,  Clinton  Beckwith  ;  1878,  79,  H.  M.  P.  Uhlee ;  1880,  C.  R. 
Snell;  1881,  Clinton  Beckwith;  1882,  J.  H.  Huyck;  1883,  J.  D.  Henderson;  1884,  '89, 
Harvey  Huyck;  1886,  John  D.  Moore;  1887,  Wm.  B.  Howell ;  1888,  Charles  G.  Grosve- 
nor;  1889,  L.  B.  Jones;  1890,  '91,  A.  B.  Steele;  1892,  William  Witherstine. 

In  the  year  1841  the  village  was  small  and  few  improvements  had 
been  made.  There  were  no  sidewalks,  or  almost  none,  except  gravel, 
and  the  streets  were  mere  graded  roads.  In  that  year  $1 1.50  was  paid 
for  rental  of  the  lot  on  which  the  engine-house  stood.  But  the  village 
had  a  brass  band  in  those  days,  and  a  subscription  paper  is  on  record 
in  1842,  showing  that  more  than  $150  was  subscribed  for  the  purchase 
of  instruments.  From  about  1850  onward  improvements  in  streets  and 
sidewalks  and  the  opening  of  new  streets  progressed  rapidly. 

The  usual  provisions  were  made  in  early  years  for  protection  from 
fire,  in  which  all  citizens  were   required  to  share ;  but  it  was  not  until 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  223 

one  or  two  destructive  fires  occurred  that  thorough  effort  was  made  for 
the  organization  and  eqiupment  of  a  company.  Those  fires  were  the 
one  of  1834,  which  destroyed  the  old  Reformed  church,  the  court- 
house and  other  structures,  and  that  in  1838,  which  burned  nearly  all 
of  the  north  half  of  the  block  where  now  stands  the  Waverly  Hotel  and 
the  opera-house.  In  early  years  all  owners  of  buildings  were  re- 
quired to  keep  a  certain  number  of  buckets  on  their  premises,  the  num- 
ber based  upon  the  size  and  height  of  the  buildings.  It  is  not  now 
known  just  when  the  first  engine  was  provided  ;  but  a  new  one  was 
purchased  on  June  i,  1841,  and  among  those  who  soon  afterward  were 
made  firemen  were  the  following: 

James  Trumbly,  Henry  Clark,  David  Weber,  Asa  G.  Kelsey,  William  Howell,  jr., 
Michael  SchafFner,  jr.,  Gideon  Dodge.  Albert  Webb,  James  A.  Suiter,  David  P.  Crosby, 
Philander  A.  Ford,  Jeremiah  Petrie  and  Charles  W.  Swift. 

A  few  months  later  the  following  were  constituted  Fire  Company 
No.  i: 

George  Lake,  Harvey  Huyck,  Gaylord  Griswold,  Philander  A.  Ford,  Charles  H. 
Hopkins,  Gideon  Dodge,  Thomas  Fetterly,  Henry  Clark,  James  Trumbly,  Christian  F. 
Spinner,  Asa  G.  Kelsey,  John  P.  De  GraflT,  Warren  Caswell,  jr.,  Benjamin  Harter, 
Jeremiah  Petrie,  William  Look,  David  Weber,  William  F.  Hayes,  Franklin  Draper, 
Charles  W.  Swift,  William  Howell,  jr.,  Alonzo  B.  Benedict,  William  F.  Smith  and 
Humphrey  Williams,  jr. 

At  the  next  meeting  of  the  trustees  the  following  persons  were  ap- 
pointed firemen  to  Engine  Company  No.  2,  viz.  : 

Alexander  M.  Gray,  Charles  Spinner,  James  Hoffman,  Peter  L  Lepper,  Hubbard  H. 
Morgan,  Smith  Colyer,  Grant  Davis,  Albert  S.  Howell,  Alonzo  Hall,  Henry  Shaw, 
James  Dolan,  Hiram  Campbell,  George  M.  Harter,  Charles  Smith,  David  Bowers,  John 
Bowers,  Samuel  Earl,  Harvey  H.  Lewis,   William  Weber, 

Late  in  the  same  year  a  hook  and  ladder  company  was  formed,  of 
which  the  first  members  were  : 

Nathan  Esterbrooks,  Joseph  Bowers,  Kellogg  Hubbard,  Willard  A.  Gray,  Alfred  P. 
Peck,  Frederick  A.  Helmer,  William  A.  Caswell,  Peter  F.  Bellinger,  John  Vincent, 
Mark  Batchelder,  and  William  B.  Houghton. 

There  was  a  reorganization  of  the  department  in  1866,  and  $300  were 
raised  "  for  equipping  the  late  reorganized  fire  department."  Under 
the  stimulus  of  a  destructive  fire  in  1S75,  the  department  was  again  re- 
organized and  steps  taken  to  purchase   a  steam  fire  engine.     Previous 


224  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

to  this  time  and  for  many  j-ears,  the  "Conqueror"  engine  and  com- 
pany had  served  the  village  and  was  the  only  company^here.  After 
the  great  fire  this  company  was  reorganized  with  the  other  changes, 
and  it  continued  in  active  service  until  a  few  years  since,  when  the 
completion  of  the  public  waterworks  rendered  it  comparatively  useless, 
and  the  company  was  disbanded. 

The  steamer  purchased  in  1876  was  of  the  Button  make  and  has 
proved  in  the  eflficient  hands  of  the  company  one  of  the  most  powerful 
machines  ever  built.  It  is  called  Fort  Dayton  Steamer  No.  2.  The 
first  officers  of  the  company  were  : 

Isaac  Mason,  foreman;  Joseph  Palmer,  first  assistant  foreman;  W.  H.  Wilson,  sec- 
ond assistant  foreman;  L.  A.  Lawton,  secretary;  H.  A.  Marckres,  treasurer;  H.  M 
Qnackenbush,  engineer. 

This  steamer  has  for  three  years  past  held  the  state  championship. 
The  present  officers  of  the  company  are  as  follow  : 

Byron  D.  Small,  foreman  ;  Charles  P.  Warburton,  first  assistant  foreman  ;  Jacob 
Ackler,  second  assistant  foreman;  Edward  Small,  president;  Thomas  H.  Allen,  vice- 
president  ;  Albert  Putnam,  .secretary  ;  Albert  Ertman,  treasurer. 

Active  Hook  and  Ladder  company  (now  Excelsior)  was  first  organ- 
ized July  28,  1874,  with  the  following  charter  members: 

W.  C.  Stewart,  J.  V.  Mallery,  Charles  A.  Paul,  William  W.  Barse,  John  H.  Dresher, 
M.  M.  Draper,  Howard  C.  Harter,  James  A.  Clark,  and  John  D.  Moore.  The  officers 
were:  Charles  A.  Paul,  foreman;  John  H.  Dresher,  first  assistant;  Howard  C.  Harter, 
second  assistant;  W.  C.  Stewart,  secretary;  John  D.Moore,  treasurer. 

After  organization  the  company  removed  to  the  old  Conqueror  (now 
Fort  Dayton)  engine-house  and  took  charge  of  the  old  hand  engine, 
continuing  in  that  capacity  until  1875,  when  they  dropped  the  name  of 
Active  Engine  Company  No.  2,  and  took  the  name  of  Active  Hose 
Company.  In  June,  1877,  a  hook  and  ladder  truck  was  purchased  and 
placed  in  their  charge.     The  present  officers  of  the  company  are  : 

President,  William  Witherstine  ;  vice-president,  William  H.  Whitmore;  foreman, 
John  D.  Moore  ;  first  assistant  foreman,  George  W.  Nellis,  jr. ;  second  assistant  fore- 
man, John  Bowman;  secretary,  Thomas  A.  Byrnes;  financial  secretary,  Irving  Lynch; 
treasurer,  William  G.  Smith. 

Fort  Dayton  Hose  Company  No.  2  was  organized  September  22, 
1875,  when  the  steamer  was  purchased,  and  was  incorporated  Decem- 
ber 7,  1875.     The  first  officers  were  : 


TOWN  OF   HERKIMER.  225 

Foreman,  George  Susholz;  first  assistant,  E.  A.  Brown;  second  assistant,  A.  B. 
Steele;  secretary,  W.  C.  Prescott;  treasurer,  W.  C.  Stewart. 

Tlie  company  now  consists  of  twenty-eight  members,  and  has  the 
following  officers  : 

Thomas  W.  Grosvenor,  foreman  ;  W.  H.  Bencliley,  first  assistant;  M.  A.  Deimel, 
second  assistant ;  Cliarles  W.  Prescott,  secretary  ;  Glen  P.  Munson,  treasurer. 

The  public  supply  of  water  to  the  village  is  owned  and  controlled  by 
the  village  authorities  and  consists  (1892)  of  fifty- two  driven  wells, 
from  which  pure  and  wholesome  water  is  pumped  and  supplied  in  pipes 
by  the  Holly  system.  The  supply  was  installed  in  1888,  at  a  cost  of 
over  $60,000.     The  money  was  raised  on  bonds  of  the  village. 

For  a  considerable  period  after  the  close  of  the  late  war  Herkimer 
village  was  especially  progressive.  New  streets  were  rapidly  opened, 
sidewalks  multiplied,  the  fire  department,  as  before  explained,  was  in- 
creased, and  general  extension  and  prosperity  prevailed.  In  1875  the 
village  adopted  the  act  of  1870  for  the  incorporation  of  villages,  giving 
the  authorities  broader  powers.  The  police  force  as  at  present  consti- 
tuted was  organized  in  1887,  with  Sylvester  Wilson  as  chief  He  was 
succeeded  by  the  present  official,  John  T.  Manion.  There  are  two  uni- 
formed patrolmen. 

The  receipts  from  the  various  funds  for  the  year  ending  March  i, 
1892,  were  as  follows:  Ordinary  fund,  $8,013.73;  highway  fund, 
$6,(59.42  ;  electric  light  (on  hand  February  18),  $1,885  H  !  police  and 
fire,  $5,721.78 — a  total  of  $21,780.04.  The  village  has  no  debt,  ex- 
cepting the  bonds  for  water  and  lights. 

Following  are  the  village  officers  for  1892  :  President,  William  Witherstine  ;  trustees, 
J.  D.  Moore,  Lewis  Turnier,  Jacob  G.  Bellinger,  James  H.  Walrad,  Robert  Barl  2d, 
C.  D.  West.  Police  Justice,  E.  B.  Mitchell.  Marshal  Rice,  chief  of  fire  department. 
Police  and  Fire  Commissioners,  Charles  Bell,  Dr.  Cyrus  Kay,  W.  P.  Munson,  C.  R.  Snell. 
C.  C.  Spinner  is  secretary,  and  W.  I.  Taber,  treasurer  of  the  Light  and  Water  Commis- 
sion. 

THE    CHURCHES   OF    HERKIMER. 

It  is  not  known  precisely  when  the  first  church  was  built  on  the 
north  side  of  the  river  in  the  limits  of  this  county  ;  but  it  was  previous 
to  1757.     The  stone  church  on  the  south  side  was  already  erected,  as 

29 


226  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

appears  in  the  history  of  tlie  town  of  German  Flats.  "Although  at 
that  time  the  inhabitants  in  this  valley  were  few  and  could  not  have  ex- 
ceeded eight  or  ten  hundred  on  both  sides  of  the  river,  yet  there  were 
good  reasons  for  having  two  church  edifices.  At  times,  and  especially 
in  the  spring  of  the  year,  it  was  impossible  for  the  people  to  go  from 
one  side  of  the  river  to  the  other,  on  account  of  the  floods,  and  as  the 
people  were  a  church- going  people,  there  was  a  necessity  for  a  place  of 
worship  on  both  sides,  so  that  at  such  times  as  they  could  not  all  meet 
at  one  place,  they  could  meet  in  separate  places  for  worship.  And  in 
the  absence  of  their  clergyman,  some  one  of  the  congregation  would 
read  service.  Dr.  William  Petry  was  often  called  upon  to  do  this,  and 
so  was  John  Christian  Shell,  the  hero  of  Shell's  Bush  and  the  Chevalier 
Bayard  among  the  people.  In  the  absence  of  the  clergyman  it  is  said 
that  Dr.  Petry  published  his  own  bans.  He  was  married  in  1766."' 
The  ample  evidence  of  the  existence  of  the  church  on  the  north  side  of 
the  river,  and  where  the  present  Reformed  church  now  stands,  on  Main 
street,  exists  in  the  following  old  German  document  (translated  by  the 
late  John  P.  Spinner)  which  reads  as  follows  : 

"  Germanflats,  August  20,  1770. 
I,  on  the  end  undersigned,  testify  hereby  that  I  have  given  an  acre  of  land  for  a 
High  Dutch  Reformed  church  on  the  stone  ridge  ;  but  whereas,  the  church,  with  all  its 
writings,  in  the  devastation  of  this  place  by  the  Indians  anno  1757,  in  an  unfortunate 
manner  has  been  burned  away;  and  whereas,  I  have  this  land  wherein  this  acre  lies 
transferred  to  my  son,  Dietrich,  and  the  same  likewise  did  precede  me  to  eternity,  I 
John  Jost  Petrie,  testify  that  the  oldest  son  of  the  deceased  Dietrich  must  give  other 
writings  as  soon  as  the  same  comes  to  his  years,  and  a  new  church,  with  my  consent, 
on  the  same  acre  of  land  build  again.     Such  do  I  attest  with  my  own  hand  and  seal. 

his 
John  Jost  x  Petkie.      [l.  s.] 
In  presence  mark 

Marcus  Pptrie. 

This  first  church  in  the  village  was  burned  in  1757  and  another  built 
on  the  same  site. 2  The  latter  was  burned  in  1834,  and  the  present  brick 
edifice  erected  on  the  site. 

■  Samuel  Earl's  writings,  1876. 

'^  The  great  difference  between  the  social  habits  of  that  early  period  and  those  of  the  present  are 
shown  in  the  toUowing  account  rendered  by  a  committee  appointed  by  the  church  to  go  to  Albany 
and  transact  some  business  in  lyg;  : 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  227 

Important  clianges  took  place  in  this  church  during  the  ministry  of 
Rev.  John  P.  Spinner  (1801-1841),  owing  largely  to  the  gradual  acces- 
sions to  the  Yankee  element  in  the  population.  "The  New  England 
influence  was  asserting  itself,  and  presently  a  style  of  doctrine  and  a 
form  of  worship  were  required  that  should  be  more  in  accord  with  New 
England,  or  perhaps  we  should  say,  with  American  ideas.  To  the 
descendants  of  the  Puritans  and  to  those  in  general  who  came  of 
English  stock,  and  who  were  beginning  now  to  settle  here  and  else- 
where throughout  the  county  in  considerable  numbers,  the  German 
service  and  the  prevailing  customs  and  usages  of  the  German  people 
were  not  at  all  congenial.  Besides,  the  English  language  was  coming 
more  and  more  into  general  use,  so  that  some  change  in  the  manage- 
ment or  at  least  in  the  mode  of  conducting  ecclesiastical  affairs,  was 
rendered  necessary  by  the  changed  condition  of  the  church  and  of  the 
community.  Add  to  this  the  fact  of  Mr.  Spinner's  opposition  to  new 
men  and  measures  and  the  feeling  of  estrangement  which  had  sprung 
up  to  some  extent  from  other  causes,  even  among  his  old  German 
parishioners,  and  the  result  may  be  easily  accounted  for  In  1827  the 
old  pastor  was  led  through  stress  of  circumstances  to  abandon  his  pul- 
pit for  a  time  and  maintain  himself  in  some  other  way  than  by  the 
ministrations  of  the  gospel."  ^  Mr.  Spinner's  absence  at  length  attracted 
the  attention  of  the  classis,  and  he  was  cited  before  that  body,  where  he 
was  exonerated  from  blame  in  the  matter.  The  resolutions  of  the  classis 
were  accompanied  by  wholesome  advice  to  both  pastor  and  people,  and 
the  church  work  was  soon  resumed.  But  strange  to  say  it  was  soon 
afterwards  resolved  by  the  consistory  that  a  subscription  paper  be  cir- 

1797- 

Feb'y  7— To  liquors  at  different  places, £><^     4    o 

8  Paid  John  Fonday  for  3  sup.,  3  quarts  cider,  3  lodgings  &  ^  gill  gin o    lo    6 

9  Paid  Johnson,  Schenectady,  i  grog,  i  lodging,  i  supper,  i  glass  bitters,  7  I  6  and 

stage  to  Albany  S  I o    15    o 

To  and  in  Albany,  2  dinners,  I  glass  punch -  o      g    o 

To  cash  paid  Barber  the  printer 3      .^    o 

To  cash  paid  Myers  for  getting  the  papers  from  New  York 080 

From  loth  to  16th  included,  to  sundries  in  liquors 080 

To  7X  day's  boarding  and  liquors  at  Crane's,  in  Albany,  as  per  receipt.. 5    11    o 

To  bread  and  cheese  for  on  the  way  home,  2  I.    Liquors  to  Schenectady 046 

At  Alsober's,  .Schenectady,  for  liquors  and  lodgings 030 

To  expenses  in  liquors  from  Schenectady  to  home 070 

J  History  of  the  Reformed  church  at  Herkimer,  by  Rev.  H.  M.  Co.x. 


^28 


HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COtJNTlf. 


f 


culated  for  the  support,  not  only  of  Rev.  Mr.  Spinner,  but  also  of  tlie 
Rev.  Henrj  M.  Snyder.  (Mr.  Snyder  had  preached  in  the  pulpit  dur- 
ing part  of  the  absence  of  Mr.  Spinner,  and  was  not  in  favor  with  the 
latter.)  In  other  words,  an  effort  was  to  be  made  to  unite  the  German 
and  the  English  speaking  elements  in  one  congregation.  This  action 
was  taken  in  1830.      Prior  to  that,  however,  a  second  Reformed  church 

had  been  organized,  with 
the  view  of  meeting  the 
needs  of  that  portion  of  the 
community  that  could  not 
understand  the  German 
tongue.  It  was  incorpo- 
rated August  21,  1824,  un- 
der the  title  of  "  Tlie  Uni- 
ted  Dutch  Church  of  Herki- 
mer and  German  Flats." 
This  society  existed  until 
1833,  and  was  served  during 
that  period  by  Revs.  Sam- 
uel Center,  Isaac  S.  Ketch- 
um,  J.  Boyd,  J.  Morris  and 
J    H.  Pitcher. 

After  the  burning  of  the 
church  in  1834  the  congre- 
gation worshiped  about  a 
year  in  the  village  school- 
house,  while  the  present 
building  was  in  course  of 
erection.     The  first    sale  of 

^ I       pews  in  the  new  church  oc- 

.  curred  on  February  5,  1835  ; 

_        .  .  j,  I'.vRNKD  Jan.  25,  1S34.  ■'  -"        -'-'  ' 

but  the  church  soon  found 
itself  in  straitened  circumstances,  while  the  old  controversies  w^hich  had 
led  to  the  organization  of  the  second  church  continued  to  come  to  the 
surface.  This  led  to  a  kind  of  reorganization  and  active  efforts  to  re- 
lieve and  preserve  the  church.     Many  members  of  the  disbanded  society 


,£EfcEir 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  229 

pledged  their  co-operation  to  the  new  movement,  which  included  a 
provision  for  employing  a  second  minister  to  preach  in  the  English 
language.  The  result  was  the  engagement  of  Rev.  James  Murphy, 
then  of  Manheim,  who  remained  as  colleague  of  Mr.  Spinner  from  1837 
to  1842.  During  his  pastorate,  which  continued  alone  after  1842  until 
1849,  the  church  was  furnished,  a  bell  purchased,  and  other  improve- 
ments made.  In  1838  the  church  officers  resolved  to  erect  a  consist- 
ory house  to  cost  $250.  This  amount  proving  insufficient,  $400  were 
expended  for  the  purpose  and  the  building  was  erected. 

After  four  years  of  experience  with  the  two  pastors  it  was  seen  that 
the  expense  was  more  than  the  members  could  bear,  and  steps  were 
taken  to  make  a  change.  This  was  opposed  by  Mr.  Spinner.  At  the 
same  time  negotiations  were  opened  for  a  dissolution  of  the  relations 
which  had  so  long  existed  between  the  churches  at  Herkimer  and 
German  Flats,  which  was  accomplished  on  the  26th  of  April,  1841. 
After  that  date  Mr.  Spinner  confined  his  attention  almost  wholly  to  the 
church  at  Fort  Herkimer. 

"  In  1875  the  interior  of  the  church  building  was  remodeled  at  an  ex- 
pense of  about  $7,000,  and  we  owe  it  mainly  to  the  enterprise  and 
liberality  of  Mr.  Consaul  that  the  money  for  that  purpose  was  obtained 
and  the  work  accomplished  which  has  ever  since  afforded  so  much  com- 
fort and  satisfaction  to  those  who  worship  within  these  courts."^ 

The  Reformed  church  is  now  in  a  prosperous  condition,  with  a 
thriving  Sunday  school.  Following  is  a  list  of  its  pastors  with  the 
dates  showing  their  terms  of  service  : 

Rev.  Abraham  Rosekrants,  1765-9G;  Rev.  D.  Christian  A.  Pick,  1798-1800;  Rev. 
John  Peter  Spinner,  1801-41 ;  Rev.  James  Murphey,  D.  D.,  1837-42  as  colleague  of 
Mr.  Spinner,  and  1843-49;  Rev.  Cornelius  S.  Mead,  1849-59;  Rev.  Hugh  Brodie  Gard- 
ner, 1860-64 ;  Rev.  Jeremiah  Petrie,  1864-68,  as  stated  supply ;  Rev.  Gansevoort  D. 
W.  Consaul,  1869-77 ;  Rev.  Ralph  Watson  Brokaw,  1877-82 ;  Rev.  Henry  Miller  Cox, 
1882-91;  Rev.  John  G.  Gebhard,  November,  1891. 

Following  are  the  officers  of  the  church  : 

Elders.  Henry  Churchill,  Clarence  L.  Avery,  Abram  S.  Brush,  Edwin  B.  Mitchell ; 
deacons,  Clinton  M.  Batchelder,  George  Hessler,  John  Gettley,  Charles  H.  Burrell, 
Charles  B.  Morris,  George  Henderson. 

'  Rev.  Mr.  Cox's  history  of  the  church. 


230  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Methodist  Episcopal  Church. — Methodism  in  Herkimer  dates  back  to 
1827,  when  the  first  class  was  formed  by  Revs.  John  Ercanback  and 
Calvin  Hawley,  who  were  then  preaching  in  the  Herkimer  circuit.  In 
September,  1832,  a  legal  organization  was  effected  by  the  election  of 
Abijah  Osborne  (one  of  the  first  members),  Warren  Caswell  and 
W.  Usher,  as  trustees.  The  name  was  "  The  Methodist  Episcopal 
Church  in  the  Village  of  Herkimer."  This  name  was  changed  in  1865 
to  "The  First  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  in  the  Village  of  Herkimer." 
The  first  permanent  church  edifice  was  built  in  1839,  at  a  cost  of 
$1,300,  and  served  its  purpose  until  1872,  when  a  larger  church  be- 
came a  necessity.  The  old  house,  corner  of  Washington  and  Green 
streets,  was  sold  to  the  Catholics,  and  a  building  committee  was  ap- 
pointed consisting  of  Hon.  Warner  Miller,  chairman  ;  Zenas  Green, 
secretary ;  George  P.  Folts,  Charles  Barse,  lilisha  Washburne,  Berth- 
waite  Patrick,  Aaron  Snell,  Spellman  Falk,  and  Joseph  Folts.  Under 
their  direction  and  through  the  generous  liberality  of  the  people  the 
present  beautiful  brick  church  was  erected  at  a  cost  of  $39,000.  The 
corner-stone  was  laid  in  June,  1873,  and  the  church  was  dedicated 
April  23,   1874.     The  following  pastors  have  served  the  church  : 

Joliii  Ercanback  and  Calvin  Hawley,  1827  and  1828;  Jonathan  Worthing  and  D.  H. 
Kingsley,  1829;  Jonathan  Worthing  and  Earl  Fuller,  1830;  Henry  Halslead,  1831: 
Allen  H.  Tilton  and  Darius  Simons,  1832;  J.  Puffer,  H.  Chapin  and  B.  Mason,  1833; 
H.  Chapin,  1834;  E.  Wheeler,  1835  and  1836;  E.  Whipple,  1837  ;  Charles  H.  Austin. 
1838  and  1839;  Franklin  Hawkins  and  Stephen  H.  Fenton,  1840;  Eleazer  Whipjile 
and  A.  Blackman,  1841 ;  George  C.  Woodruff,  1842  ;  David  Chidester  and  John  Thomas, 
1843;  John  Slee  and  R.  Lewis,  1844j  John  Slee,  1845;  Jesse  Penfield,  1S46  and  1847; 
James  E.  Downing,  1848  and  1849;  EUjah  Smith,  1850;  Ward  I.  Hunt,  1851;  D. 
Barnard.  1852;  J.  H.  Lamb,  1853  and  1854  ;  J.  Billings,  1855;  C.  H.  Austin,  1856  and 
1857;  James  Wells,  1858  and  1859;  B.  L  Diefendorf,  1860;  Daniel  Fulford,  1801  and 
1862;  S.  E.  Brown,  1863  and  1864;  Charles  Baldwin,  1865  and  1866  ;  William  Jones, 
1867-69;  Charles  T.  Moss,  1870  and  1871  ;  W.  R.  Cobb,  1872  and  1873;  W.  F.  Mark- 
ham,  1874-70;  S.  0.  Barnes,  1877  and  1878-9;  W.  Dempster  Chase,  1880-82  ;  Horace 
M.  Danforth,  1882-85;  Isaac  S.  Bingham,  1886-91;  and  Wm.  C.  Davidson,  the  present 
pastor.     The  church  membership  is  nearly  500. 

In  connection  with  this  may  be  properly  mentioned  the  "  George  P. 
Folts  Training  School,  for  home  and  foreign  mission  work,"  which  is  to 
some  extent  an  outgrowth  of  this  church.  Through  a  generous  gift  of 
George  P.  Folts  this  school  is  founded  at  a  cost  of  $45,000,  and  a  hand- 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  231 

some  building  erected  in  1892,  for  the  accommodation  of  about  forty 
students,  a  matron,  servants,  etc.,  with  conveniences  for  boarding  all 
the  inmates.  Tlie  board  of  trustees  is  chosen  by  the  Northern  New 
York  Conference,  and  the  school  is  held  by  them  in  trust  for  the  church. 
Tuition  is  free  and  members  of  any  sect  are  admitted. 

Protestant  Episcopal  Church. — On  the  26th  of  January,  1833,  a  meet- 
ing was  held  in  the  school-house  and  articles  of  incorporation  signed 
for  the  organization  of  an  Episcopal  church  in  Herkimer.  Andrew  A. 
Bartow  and  Frederick  Bellinger  were  chosen  wardens,  and  John  Brown, 
Robert  Shoemaker,  Elias  Root,  Ira  Backus,  Flavel  Clark,  James  B. 
Hunt,  Simeon  Ford  and  James  Ferman,  vestrymen.  The  name  of"  St. 
Luke's  Church,  German  Flats,"  was  adopted.  A  futile  attempt  was 
made  to  erect  a  church  at  the  Flats,  between  the  two  villages,  and  the 
society  finally  united  with  others  in  building  a  union  church  at  Mohawk, 
which  was  subsequently  transferred  to  the  Presbyterians.  Services 
were  then  begun  in  Herkimer  and  a  new  organization  was  substituted 
for  the  old  one.  On  the  23d  of  March,  1839,  a  meeting  was  held, 
articles  of  incorporation  were  signed  and  the  following  officers  chosen : 

Andrew  A.  Bartow  and  Matthew  Myers,  wardens  ;  Charles  Kathern,  Erwin  A.  Mun- 
son,  Bloomfield  Usher,  Theodore  A.  Griswold,  Benjamin  Barter,  Homer  Caswell,  An- 
son Hall  and  Robert  Ethridge,  vestrymen. 

The  name  adopted  was  "  Christ's  Church,  Herkimer."  Services  were 
held  for  several  years  in  the  court-house,  in  the  Methodist  church  and 
elsewhere.  Land  was  secured  and  a  beginning  made  to  erect  a  church 
on  the  site  of  the  Catholic  church;  but  this  was  given  up  and  a  lot 
taken  on  the  corner  of  Mary  and  Prospect  streets.  Here  a  corner- 
stone was  laid  by  Bishop  Onderdonk  and  a  building  partly  erected  ;  but 
embarrassments  again  stopped  the  work.  A  new  organization  was 
effected  February  20,  1854,  at  a  meeting  presided  over  by  Rev.  Owen 
P.  Thackara.  Byron  Laflin  and  Samuel  Earl  were  chosen  wardens,  and 
Hubbard  H.  Morgan,  William  Howell,  jr.,  Benjamin  F.Brooks,  Beek- 
man  Johnson,  George  \V.  Thompson,  Jacob  Spooner,  Charles  Kathern, 
and  Elkanah  T.  Cleland,  vestrymen.  The  former  title  was  retained  and 
ground  was  purchased  for  a  building  on  July  10,  1854,  corner  of  Main 
and  German  streets.  A  contract  was  made  with  Alexander  Underwood 
for  the  building  of  a  chapel.     The  building  was  consecrated  on  the  4th 


232  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

of  October,  1855,  by  Rt.  Rev.  Horatio  Potter,  bishop  of  the  diocese  of 
New  York,  During  this  period  the  parish  was  under  charge  of  Rev.  O. 
P.  Thaclora,  a  missionary  for  the  section  which  embraced  this  locality. 
During  the  latter  part  of  his  charge  he  stationed  Rev.  I.  N.  Fairbanks 
over  this  parisli.  Mr.  Thackara  established  a  large  boarding  and  day 
school,  with  several  teachers.  In  October,  1857,  he  resigned  his  charge 
of  this  district  and  shortly  afterwards  Mr.  Fairbanks  withdrew.  The 
Rev.  Marcus  N.  Perry  was  then  engaged  as  minister  and  remained  un- 
til October  10,  1858.  There  were  then  only  thirteen  communicants. 
On  the  29th  of  November,  1858,  the  Rev.  J.  M.  Hedges  was  called  to 
the  rectorship  and  remained  until  1861,  when  he  was  succeeded  on  the 
17th  of  March  by  Rev.  Edward  Pidsley.  He  resigned  in  the  latter 
part  of  1862,  and  Rev.  Mr.  Hedges,  who  then  lived  in  Herkimer,  offici- 
ated once  in  two  weeks.  In  September,  1864,  Rev.  H.  G.  Wood  became 
the  rector  and  during  his  term  of  service  a  school- house  and  a  rectory 
were  built  adjoining  the  church.  March  8,  1871,  Rev.  J.  D.  Morrison 
was  called  to  the  church,  and  was  succeeded  in  August,  1875,  by  Rev. 
William  Bogert  Walker,  who  remained  until  October,  1S84.  The  pres- 
ent rector.  Rev.  Charles  C.  Edwards,  assumed  charge  of  the  parish 
January  i,  1885. 

Soon  after  Mr.  Edwards's  installation  a  movement  was  started  for 
the  building  of  a  new  church.  On  the  1st  of  July,  1886,  the  lot  on  the 
corner  of  Main  and  Mary  streets  was  purchased  for  $5,500.  Active 
measures  for  raising  funds  were  adopted  and  in  August,  1888,  the 
vestry  ordered  the  erection  of  the  present  edifice  after  plans  by  R.  W. 
Gibson,  of  New  York.  The  corner-stone  was  laid  October  1st,  1888, 
and  the  church  was  consecrated  November  7,  1889.  The  rectory  is  a 
part  of  the  church  building.  This  is  one  of  the  finest  small  churches  in 
Central  New  York  and  cost  about  $35,000,  all  of  which  has  been  paid. 
Its  memorial  windows  are  not  surpassed  anywhere,  two  of  them  costing 
about  $2,500,  while  the  interior  arrangement  of  the  building  is  a  model 
of  harmony  and  beauty. 

St.  Francis  de  Sales  Church. — In  October,  1874,  tlie  Roman  Catho- 
lic families  of  the  town,  numbering  about  thirty,  joined  in  the  purchase 
of  the  churcli  building  on  Washington  street,  formerly  occupied  by  the 
Methodists.      It  was  dedicated  on  the  9th  of  June,  1875,  ^y  Rev.  Francis 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  233 

McNierney,  bishop  of  Albany,  and  given  its  present  name.  An  addi- 
tion was  made  of  forty-two  feet  in  the  rear  in  1888,  for  the  accommo- 
dation of  the  growing  membership,  which  is  now  about  140  families. 
The  parsonage  was  purchased  in  1890.  The  founder  of  the  church  was 
Rev.  William  Howard,  then  of  Ilion,  who  remained  and  faithfully 
worked  for  the  upbuilding  of  his  church  until  1885,  when  he  was  suc- 
ceeded by  the  present  pastor,  Rev.  J.  H.  Halpin.  Under  his  effective 
administration  the  church  is  flourishing. 

First  Baptist  Church. — While  for  a  great  many  years  the  Baptist 
sect  was  not  numerous  in  Herkimer,  yet  there  were  representatives  in 
the  town  who  attended,  as  a  rule,  the  church  at  Mohawk.  In  recent 
years  the  church  at  that  village  declined,  which  led  to  the  organization 
of  a  society  in  Herkimer.  This  took  place  on  the  17th  of  February, 
1888,  the  persons  organizing  being  Dr.  E.  G.  Kern,  Alonzo  Rust, 
William  Goodall,  Edgar  L.  Jackson,  and  their  wives,  and  Mrs.  Mary 
Robinson  and  her  daughter  Electa.  The  first  preaching  was  by  George 
B.  Lawson,  as  a  supply,  while  he  studied  at  Hamilton  College.  Nor- 
man Burd  was  ordained  here  and  preached  as  the  first  regular  pastor 
one  year.  The  next  pastor  was  Charles  B.  Alden,  who  preached  one 
year,  while  continuing  his  college  studies.  The  present  pastor.  Rev. 
W.  D.  Lukens,  came  to  the  church  on  the  1st  of  January,  1892.  Pre- 
vious to  the  erection  of  the  church  the  services  were  held  in  the  court- 
house and  the  Y.  M.  C.  A.  rooms.  The  church  was  erected  and  dedi- 
cated on  the  17th  of  February,  1890  Its  value  is  about  $5,000.  The 
present  deacons  are  A.  Rust,  William  Goodall.  Superintendent  of  the 
Sunday-school,  E.  G.  Kern.  The  membership  of  the  church  is  seventy- 
three. 

Free  Methodist  Church. — This  society  was  organized  in  1881,  the 
first  pastor  being  Rev.  George  Storer.  Pastors  who  have  since  supplied 
the  church  have  been  the  Revs.  L.  H.  Robinson,  D.  J.  Santmyre,  Mr. 
Carpenter,  L.  H.  Robinson,  Mr.  Warren,  M.  S.  Babcock,  G.  S.  Coons 
and  T.  C.  Givens.  The  church  is  situated  on  Liberty  street,  and  was 
erected  in  1885.     The  church  membership  is  fifty-two. 

Schools  of  Herkimer.  —  Little  is  known  at  the  present  time  of  the 
very  early  schools  ;  but  intelligent  readers  are  familiar  with  the  general 
common   school  system    of  the   State   in   early  times,  and  the   disad- 

iO 


234  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

vantages  surrounding  tliose  who  attempted  to  secure  even  a  simple 
English  education.  The  first  school  in  the  village  of  Herkimer  is  said 
to  have  been  taught  by  a  man  named  Robinson.  In  the  year  1836  the 
meager  school  accommodations  became  insufficient,  and  to  meet  the 
difficulty  a  brick  school-house  was  erected  on  Washington  street  on  the 
site  of  the  present  commodious  and  beautiful  Union  school  building. 
This  building  served  its  purpose  until  1878,  when  the  present  building 
was  erected,  at  a  cost,  with  its  appurtenances,  of  $17,500.  Previous  to 
1865  the  schools  were  common  district  schools,  but  in  that  year  the 
union  free  school  system  came  into  operation.  In  1878,  when  the  new 
building  was  first  occupied,  a  graded  school  was  established. 

Benjamin  F.  Miller  was  employed  as  principal,  and  the  trustees  were 
Zenas  Green,  Ward  P.  Munson,  and  Hienry  Churchill.  Seward  D. 
Allen  was  principal  from  January,  1880,  until  H.  R.  Jolley  assumed 
the  position  in  1882.  He  was  succeeded  by  Erastus  Crosby  in  1884, 
and  the  present  principal,  A.  G.  Miller,  came  in  1887. 

In  1888  a  new  brick  school  building  was  erected  in  the  south  di- 
vision, corner  of  Smith  and  South  Washington  streets,  at  a  cost  of  about 
$16,000.  The  first  school  was  held  there  in  September  of  that  year. 
Two  rooms  are  also  leased  in  outside  buildings  for  school  purposes. 
The  present  board  of  trustees  are,  Ward  P.  Munson,  president ;  William 
Witherstine,  and  E  B.  Mitchell.  Following  are  the  names  of  the 
teachers  for   1892  : 

High  School,  A.  G.  Miller,  principal;  Jean  Du  Bois,  first  assistant;  Jessie  A.  Beach, 
second  assistant.  Grammar  School,  Margaret  Lynch,  Finette  Bigelow.  Intermediate 
Schools — North  Division,  Alice  Baldwin,  Clorinda  Otis;  South  Division,  Madge  Tiiger. 
Primary  Schools — North  Division,  Nellie  Enos,  Mary  E.  L3'nch,  Nellie  S.  Kent ; 
South  Division,  Madge  Burns,  Emma  Lansing,  Lina  0.  Holmes.  Sadie  Littlejohn  and 
Frances  Wilson  are  also  primary  teachers  employed  by  the  board. 

MANUFACTURES. 

We  have  already  alluded  to  some  of  the  early  mills,  asheries,  etc.,  of 
Herkimer.  Besides  the  usual  shops  of  the  blacksmith,  the  wagonmaker, 
the  shoemaker,  and  the  tinner,  who  were  for  many  years  to  be  found  in 
most  hamlets,  there  was  very  little  manufacturing  in  the  county  for 
a  long  time  after  its  settlement,  if  we  exclude   the  saw-mills  and  grist- 


'town  of  HERKIMER.  235 

mills.  The  West  Canada  Creek  supplies  excellent  water  power  at  Her- 
kimer village,  and  its  current  was  utilized  for  mills  at  a  comparatively 
early  day.  Soon  after  the  War  of  1812  a  man  named  Price  built  a  mill 
within  the  corporation  limits,  which  was  used  exclusively  for  flouring 
purposes.  It  was  afterwards  burned  and  rebuilt,  and  for  a  time  was 
operated  by  a  Mr  Van  Home.  In  the  year  181 1  a  grist-mill  with  three 
runs  of  stone  was  built  on  the  West  Canada  Creek  about  where  the  Cen- 
tral Railroad  crosses  it  by  Windsor  Maynard  and  Simeon  Ford  ;  con- 
nected with  the  mill  was  a  distillery  and  saw-mill.  This  mill  subse- 
quently passed  to  the  possession  of  the  Manhattan  Company  of  New 
York,  on  a  mortgage,  and  that  company  sold  it  to  the  Hydraulic  and 
Manufacturing  Co.  It  was  subsequently  abandoned,  and  in  1836,  after 
the  hydraulic  canal  was  built,  the  mill  now  operated  by  E.  Washburne 
and  G.  M.  Helmer  was  erected  by  F.  P.  Bellinger.  Mr.  Washburne 
purchased  this  mill  in  1866  and  has  continued  to  operate  it  ever  since. 
It  is  used  now  principally  for  grinding  corn. 

A  spirit  of  manufacturing  enterprise  was  developed  in  Herkimer  in 
i8j3,  which  culminated  in  the  organization  of  the  Herkimer  Manufact- 
uring and  Hydraulic  Company,  and  its  incorporation  with  a  capital  of 
$100,000.  The  principal  object  of  this  company  was  the  construction 
of  a  dam  across  the  West  Canada  Creek  for  the  production  of  available 
water  power;  they  intended  also  to  manufacture  cotton  and  woolen 
goods,  machinery,  sell  surplus  power,  etc.  About  $40,000  was  ex- 
pended in  this  undertaking,  and  nearly  the  whole  volume  of  the  creek 
turned  into  a  side  canal  at  a  point  about  two  miles  up  the  stream,  thus 
gaining  a  head  of  thirty- seven  feet  of  water.  It  was  calculated  by  the 
engineer  that  this  canal  would  produce  power  equivalent  to  what  would 
be  required  to  run  138  runs  of  fifty-four  inch  mill-stones.  While  it  can 
scarcely  be  said  that  this  project  has  met  the  expectations  of  its  more 
sanguine  projectors,  yet  it  has  been  of  great  importance  to  the  village, 
and  within  the  past  ten  years  has  been  still  more  extensively  utilized  in 
supplying  power  to  the  numerous  manufacturing  enterprises  that  have 
been  started,  to  the  great  benefit  of  the  community. 

On  the  site  of  the  paper-mill  J.  B.  Morse  once  carried  on  the  manu- 
facture  of  hats;  but  the  property  was  transferred  to  A.  H.  Laflin,  who 
changed  it  into  a   paper-mill.      In    1865    the   property    passed   into  the 


236  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COtNTY. 

possession  of  Warner  Miller  8:  Co.,  the  company  being  Henry  Churchill, 
sen.,  and  Charles  Hutchinson.  The  establishment  afterwards  (1875) 
became  the  Herkimer  Paper  Company,  limited,  with  Warner  Miller  as 
president,  and  Henry  Churchill,  secretary.  The  original  building 
owned  by  Mr.  Laflin  was  burned  in  1867,  and  a  part  of  the  present  mill 
erected.  In  1868  Mr.  Miller  bought  the  interest  of  both  his  associates, 
and  on  the  ist  of  January,  1869,  took  in  Henry  Churchill,  jr.,  the  name 
of  the  company  remaining  the  same.  Within  the  past  five  years  the 
capacity  of  the  mill  has  been  quadrupled  and  the  buildings  correspond- 
ingly enlarged.  The  product  is  almost  wholly  newspaper,  and  about 
sixty  hands  are  employed. 

The  Mark  Maimfactiiring  Company. — This  is  the  largest  industry  in 
Herkimer  and  manufactures  all  kinds  of  knit  goods.  The  original 
building  on  the  canal  near  the  railroad  was  erected  as  a  hoop  skirt 
factory  in  1870.  About  two  years  later  the  manufacture  of  knit  goods 
was  begun  on  a  very  small  scale  by  Mark  &  Elias.  The  business  grew 
rapidly  and  in  1878  additions  were  made  to  the  buildings.  In  1883 
Mr.  Mark  bought  his  partner's  interest,  paying  for  it  a  price  that  indi- 
cated the  great  value  of  the  industry.  He  carried  on  the  business 
alone  until  1889,  when  a  stock  company  was  formed  with  Morris  Mark, 
president;  Robert  Earl,  vice  president;  A.  K.  Marsh,  secretary.  In 
December,  1891,  Mr.  Mark  purchased  Marsh's  interest,  and  James  G. 
Johnson  became  secretary  and  treasurer.  Judge  Earl  still  remaining 
vice  president.  About  300  hands  are  now  employed  in  this  factoiy, 
and  it  is  a  source  of  great  benefit  to  the  place. 

On  the  site  of  the  Standard  Ftirniture  Company  was  formerly  the 
sash  and  blind  factory  of  E.  C.  Munson.  It  had  still  earlier  been  a 
broomhandle  factory  and  a  cheese- box  factory.  The  Standard  Com- 
pany began  business  here  in  1886  for  the  manufacture  of  typewriter 
cabinets  for  the  Remington  people,  and  roller-top  desks.  The  business 
has  grown  enormously,  with  the  increase  of  sales  in  the  tj-jjewriter 
works,  while  at  the  same  time  the  desk  business  has  been  pushed  with 
energy  and  success.  The  buildings  have  been  greatly  enlarged.  The 
members  of  the  company  are  William  Horrocks,  president ;  M.  Foley, 
vice-president ;  F.  T.  Lathrop,  treasurer.  Water  and  steam  power  are 
used  and  150  men  employed,  with  155  in  a  branch  in  Kentucky. 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  23? 

The  Gem  Knitting  Company  v/as,  formed  and  began  business  in  1888, 
using  water  power,  by  H.  A.  Deimel,  C.  R.  Snell,  M.  A.  Deimel,  and 
J.  H.  Evans.  The  product  of  the  factory  is  ladies'  underwear  of  cotton 
and  wool  and  150  hands  are  employed. 

The  Herkimer  Manufacturing  Company,  also  situated  on  the  canal, 
was  an  offshoot  of  the  Bedell  Manufacturing  Company,  in  1881,  and 
was  started  by  Deimel  &  Snell,  George  E.  Bedell,  and  M  A.  Deimel. 
Four  years  later  M.  A.  Deimel  and  C.  R.  Snell  took  its  control.  Sub- 
sequently the  interest  of  Mr.  Bedell  and  H.  A.  Deimel  was  purchased 
by  the  other  members  of  the  company.  Spring  beds,  mattresses,  fancy 
chairs,  etc.,  are  made,  and  about  forty  hands  employed. 

The  prominent  woodworking  establishments  of  the  town  are  the  sash, 
door  and  blind  factories  of  Deimel  &  Snell,  and  W.  D.  Lyons. 

In  the  spring  of  1871  H.  M.  Quackenbush  began  the  manufacture  on 
Prospect  street,  in  a  small  frame  building,  of  toy  air  pistols  under  his 
own  patents.  The  demand  for  his  goods  was  prompt  and  large,  and  in 
the  fall  of  that  year  he  removed  into  a  larger  building  and  put  in  steam 
power.  In  the  summer  of  1874  he  was  forced  to  make  another  enlarge- 
ment, and  a  building  was  erected  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  street. 
The  first  articles  manufactured  were  followed  by  the  Eureka  .scroll  saw 
and  in  1876  by  the  improved  air  rifle,  both  of  which  have  an  enormous 
sale.  In  1877  he  erected  a  two- story  brick  building  and  put  in  a 
thirty-horse  engine  In  1890  he  built  his  present  factory,  which  is  one 
of  the  most  complete  and  convenient  industrial  buildings  to  be  found 
anywhere.  Eighty  men  are  employed  and  a  seventy-five  horse  Corliss 
engine  supplies  the  power.  The  safety  cartridge  rifle  and  an  amateur 
lathe  have  been  added,  among  other  articles,  to  the  output.  It  is  one 
of  the  most  thriving  industries  in  Central  New  York. 

Charles  A.  Lee  began  making  chairs  under  his  own  patents  in  1889, 
in  a  small  way,  employing  three  men.  His  patents  cover  valuable  im- 
provements in  reclining  and  platform  rockers.  In  1891  he  removed  to 
his  present  factory  and  now  employs  twenty  hands.  His  chairs  are 
shipped   throughout  the  country. 

Banks. — Herkimer  has  suffered  from  several  bank  failures  ;  but  they 
were  not  due  to  any  financial  stress  of  a  general  character.  The 
county  and  the  village   being  largely  dependent    upon  agriculture  as  a 


238  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

source  of  wealth,  the  failures  incident  to  mercantile  and  manufacturing 
operations  have  not  been  numerous ;  while  the  communities  have 
passed  through  the  great  periods  of  financial  panic  which  caused  wide- 
spread ruin  in  large  commercial  centers,  almost  unscathed.  The  first 
bank  in  Herkimer  was  called  the  Agricultural  Bank,  and  began  business 
in  1839,  just  after  the  panic  of  1837-8,  with  Harvey  Doolittle  as  presi- 
dent, and  Gen.  P.  F.  Bellinger  cashier.  In  1845  ^^^-  Bellinger  left  the 
bank  and  Benjamin  Carver  was  made  president ;  C.  T.  E.  Van  Horn, 
vice-president;  Harvey  Doolittle,  cashier.  This  bank  failed  in  1857, 
through  causes  that  need  not  be  explained  here;  but  some  of  the  losses 
were  grevious  ones  and  resulted  in  prolonged  litigation. 

The  Bellinger  Bank  carried  on  business  a  few  years  after  the  failure 
of  the  Agricultural.  Peter  F.  Bellinger  was  president  and  H.  Bellin- 
ger cashier.  It  closed  its  affairs  in  1866.  Then  followed  the  Messinger 
Bank,  which  was  one  of  several  started  by  Hiram  J.  Messinger,  then  of 
New  York  ;  it  was  organized  in  the  fall  of  1867,  «*nd  went  down  in  the 
general  crash  of  all  of  Messinger's  institutions  in   May,  1868. 

Herkimer  Bank. — This  institution  was  established  many  years  ago 
as  a  private  bank,  but  was  organized  under  a  charter  under  the 
State  banking  laws  in  1885.  The  present  executive  officers  (1892) 
are  as  follow : 

President,  William  Smitli;  vice-president,  J.  AV.  Vrooman  ;  cashier,  W.  I.  Taber  ; 
and  Robert  Earl  2d,  assistant  cashier.  The  board  of  directors  consists  of  Messrs. 
William  Smith,  H.  M.  Quackenbush,  C.  W.  Palmer.  Hon.  Robert  Earl,  W.  W.  Mosher, 
B.  Washburn,  Morris  Mark,  J.  W.  Vrooman,  E.  S.  W.  Thomson,  C.  E.  Snyder,  E.  M. 
Burns,  L.  T.  Du  Bois,  P.  B.  Myers. 

The  following  summary  giving  an  idea  of  the  business  is  taken 
from  the  statement  of  March  19,  1892:  Capital,  $75,000;  surp»lus, 
$10,000;  deposits,  $223,860.20;  loans  and  discounts,  $256,636.86,  and 
total  resources,  $325,104.10.  The  management  has  been  character- 
ized by  a  conservative  regard  for  the  interest  of  its  customers,  which 
fact  has  gained  for  the  bank  a  well  founded  faith  in  the  financial 
strength  and  influence  of  its  recognized  vocation  for  usefulness. 

First  National  Bank. — This  bank  was  organized  by  H.  G.  Munger, 
Henry  Churchill,  P.  M.  Wood  and  others,  in  1884.  Among  the 
stockholders  are  many  of  the  leading  business  men  and  capitalists  of  this 
county.     The  capital  stock  is  $50,000.     Henry  Churchill  was  chosen 


TOWN  OF  HERKIMER.  239 

president  of  the  bank  upon  its  organization  and  has  discharged  the 
duties  of  the  office  to  the  entire  satisfaction  of  the  stockholders  ever 
since.  The  same  may  be  said  of  A.  W.  Haslehurst,  who  has  been 
cashier  of  the  bank  from  the  beginning.  The  statement  of  the  bank 
dated  May  17,  1892,  shows  surplus  and  undivided  profits  of  more 
than  $20,000,  and  individual  deposits  of  $224,21 1.29.  The  board  of 
directors,  1892,  is  as  follows:  Henry  Churchill,  H.  G.  Munger,  C.  R. 
Snell,  George  P.  Folts,  R  H.  Smith,  G.  H.  Watson,  A.  W.  Haslehurst. 
The  bank  was  placed  in  its  present  handsome  and  convenient 
quarters  on   Main  street  in  July,    1891. 

The  Herkimer  Press. — The  character  of  the  press  of  any  community 
is  an  indication  of  its  intelligence  and  enterprise.  The  progressive  vil- 
lage or  city  always  gives  its  newspapers  liberal  support,  and  as  a  result, 
the  papers  are  made,  as  a  rule,  worthy  of  such  support.  The  first  news- 
paper in  Herkimer  county  was  published  at  Herkimer  village  very  early 
in  the  present  century,  and  was  called  the  Telescope  ;  its  proprietor  was 
Benjamin  Cory,  and  it  supported  the  Federal  party.  Mr.  Cory  sold  out 
in  1805  to  David  Holt  and  J.  R.  Robins,  who  changed  the  name  of  the 
paper,  or  started  a  new  one  under  the  title  of  the  Farmer's  Monitor, 
which  was  discontinued  in  1807.  Mr.  Cory  started  another  paper  in  the 
interest  of  the  Federal  party,  which  he  published  until  18 10. 

In  January,  18 10,  J.  H.  and  H.  Prentiss  started  the  Herkimer  Ameri- 
can, which  was  published  by  them  several  years,  and  until  183  i  by  other 
persons,  William  L.  Stone  being  at  one  time  a  partner.  In  December, 
1813,  Thurlow  Weed  obtained  employment  in  the  office  of  this  paper, 
being  a  "jealous  Republican."  (See  page  2)1,,  Life  of  Thurlow  Weed, 
Vol.  1.)     Edward  P.  Seymour  was  its  last  publisher. 

A  paper  called  the  Bitnker  Hi/l  was  commenced  some  time  in  1810, 
with  G.  G.  Phinney  at  its  helm.  Mr.  Phinney  also  published  a  paper 
called  the  T/ie  Honest  American  about  the  year  18 12.  Both  of  these 
journals  died  before   1821. 

In  1828  the  Herkimer  Herald  made  its  appearance  under  direction  of 
John  Carpenter,  and  was  devoted  to  the  interest  of  General  Jackson  and 
his  policy.  Then  followed  the  Republican  Farmer  s  Free  Press,  an  anti- 
Masonic  paper,  printed  by  David  Holt  and  edited  by  B.  B.  Hotchkin. 
Its  life  was  not  much  longer  than  its  name. 


240  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

The  Herkimer  County  Journal  wa^s  started  in  December,  1837,  ^s  a 
Whig  organ.  It  was  owned  by  a  company,  and  at  first  was  edited  at 
Herkimer  by  J.  C.  Underwood  and  printed  by  Edward  P.  Seymour. 
About  a  year  later  O.  A.  Bowe  took  charge  of  the  paper  and  pubHshed 
it  six  years.  During  various  periods  it  was  edited  by  R.  U.  Sherman 
G.  W.  Smith,  and  A.  H.  Prescott.  In  1849  Orlando  Squires  took 
charge  of  the  paper  and  removed  it  to  Little  F"alls. 

In  the  fall  of  1842,  J.  M.  Lyon  and  W.  B.  Holmes  started  \.he  Frnnk- 
fort  Democrat,  at  Frankfort,  which  was  afterwards  removed  to  Herkimer 
village.  In  1848  Judge  Earl  became  the  sole  proprietor  and  editor  of 
the  paper.  In  1850  C.  C.  Witherstine  acquired  an  interest  in  the  estab- 
lishment, and  in  March,  1854,  became  its  sole  proprietor.  In  Septem- 
ber of  the  same  year  Jacob  Hayes  was  associated  with  Mr.  Witherstine. 
and  the  firm  was  Witherstine  &  Hayes  until  the  death  of  the  latter  in 
1856.  In  June,  1859,  the  paper  passed  from  possession  of  IMr.  Wither- 
stine to  Henry  G.  Crouch,  who  continued  to  publish  it  until  1864,  Mr. 
Witherstine  in  the  interim  being  engaged  in  the  West.  In  the  year  last 
named  Mr.  Witherstine  returned  and  again  became  the  owner  of  the 
establishment.  In  May,  1856,  the  Z////^/^a//.y  Crt^^//^  was  merged  with 
the  Democrat  and  the  name  changed  to  the  Herkimer  Democrat  and 
Little  Falls  Gacette,  un\.\\  the  fall  of  1876,  when  the  clumsy  title  was 
changed  back  as  before  to  the  Herkimer  Democrat.  In  October,  1875, 
H.  P.  Witherstine  was  given  an  interest  in  the  establishment  and  in  1880 
the  firm  name  was  changed  to  H.  P.  Witherstine  &  Co.,  the  same  per- 
sons constituting  the  firm.  Januarj'  4,  1892,  C.  C.  Witherstine  sold  his 
interest  to  John  M.  Comings,  who,  with  H.  P.  Witherstine,  still  publishes 
the  paper.  With  the  exception  noted,  C.  C.  Witherstine  was  connected 
with  this  journal  for  fifty  years  and  is  one  of  the  oldest  journalists,  in 
point  of  continuous  service,  in  Central  New  York.  His  son  has  devel- 
oped a  peculiar  aptitude  for  the  publishing  business,  while  his  partner 
has  already  acquired  valuable  experience  in  the  same  direction  as  editor 
of  the  Petin  Van  Democrat.  Under  their  management  the  Democrat 
wields  a  large  influence  among  the  intelligent  people  of  this  and  ad- 
joining counties. 

The  Herkimer  Citizen  was  started  September  30,  1884,  by  George 
W.  Weaver  and  Charles  S.  Munger.      This  continued  until  January    1, 


a//M 


TOWN  OF   HERKIMER.  241 

1889,  when  A.  T.  Smith  and  F.  E.  Easton  purchased  Mr.  Weaver's 
interest  in  the  Ilion  Citisen  and  Herkiinej-  Citizen,  and  they,  with  C.  S. 
Hunger,  formed  the  Citizen  Publishing  Company.  The  papers  are  both 
printed  at  Ilion,  with  a  job  printing  office  at  Herkimer.  The  paper  is 
Republican  in  politics  and  is  an  excellent  journal.  Mr.  Hunger  had 
e.xperience  in  the  office  of  the  Camden  Journal,  where  he  succeeded  his 
father.  Messrs.  Easton  and  Smith  left  the  county  clerk's  office  after 
many  years'  service,  to  take  up  the  publishing  business.  (See  history 
of  Ilion.) 

The  Herkimer  County  Record  \s  a  new  paper  started  in  1888,  by  its 
present  publisher,  George  W.  Nellis,  jr.  The  Record  is  an  enterprising 
paper,  independent  in  politics,  and  has  attained  a  good  circulation. 

Hotels. — In  the  old  staging  days  hotels  in  country  villages,  and  along 
the  turnpikes,  possessed  a  degree  of  importance  to  traveling  men  that 
can  hardly  be  accorded  them  at  the  present  time.  In  these  days,  if 
every  hotel  in  half  a  dozen  villages  on  the  line  of  a  railroad  were  simul- 
taneously burned,  the  traveler  could  still  stay  another  hour  in  the  train 
and  reach  a  farther  station  where  he  would  find  accommodations. 
Such  a  calamity  happening  when  the  stage  or  the  canal  was  the  best 
mode  of  travel,  would  have  caused  great  inconvenience. 

One  of  the  important  houses  on  the  old  Mohawk  turnpike  is  still  re- 
membered as  the  Talcott  House  in  Herkimer,  which  at  first  was  built 
of  logs,  and  stood  near  the  site  of  the  present  paper-mill.  Good  au- 
thority credits  this  with  being  the  first  public  hotel  in  Herkimer  county. 
When  the  original  house  became  too  small  to  accommodate  the  in- 
creasing number  of  guests,  the  proprietor  built  a  more  commodious 
structure  at  a  point  where  the  bridge  crosses  the  canal  below  the  paper- 
mill.  When  this  site  eventually  became  inconvenient,  the  proprietor 
built  another  house  on  Main  street,  which  now  constitutes  the  south 
end  of  the  Mansion  House  (long  known  as  the  Popper  House).  The 
Hansion  House  is  now  kept  by  F.  W.  Eckle. 

The  Waverly  House  on  Main  street,  now  kept  by  H.  Edick,  for- 
merly of  the  Edick  House,  near  the  Central  Railroad  station,  stands  on 
the  site  of  an  old  tavern.  What  was  long  known  as  the  Tower  House, 
stands  across  from  the  railroad  station,  and  received  its  name  from  J.  C. 
Tower  who  long  kept  it.      It  was  afterwards   called   the  Edick   House 

31 


242  HISTORY  OF  HERKTMER  COUNTY. 

and  was  bought  in  1892  by  John  Nelson,  who  has  greatly  improved  it. 
A  short  distance  east  of  this  hotel  stands  the  Allman  House,  of  brick, 
kept  by  Theodore  Allman.  Mr.  Allman  built  this  house  in  1875.  It 
stands  also  on  the  site  of  a  former  hotel. 

In  1 891  the  Palmer  House  was  erected  by  C.  W.  Palmer.  It  is 
not  only  one  of  the  handsomest  structures  in  the  village  of  Herkimer, 
but  is  admirably  designed  on  modern  ideas  for  a  first-class  hotel.  It  is 
kept  by  George  A.  May,  and  is  thoroughly  well  managed. 

Herkimer  Post-office. — John  A.  Rasbach  was  one  of  the  early  post- 
masters at  Herkimer,  and  was  succeeded  by  Harvey  Doolittle  in  1840. 
Mr.  Rasbach  had  the  office  another  term  and  was  succeeded  by  James 
A.  Suiter,  who  served  under  General  Taylor's  administration.  Mr. 
Suiter  was  succeeded  by  H.  H.  Morgan,  who  held  the  office  eight  years, 
and  was  succeeded  in  1861  by  Warren  Caswell.  He  held  the  office  un- 
til the  appointment  of  F.  A.  Gray,  who  for  two  years  preceded  the 
present  incumbent,  S.  W.  Stimson,  who  assumed  the  office  July  i,  1889. 


CHAPTER  XII. 
THE   TOWN    OF   LITTLE   FALLS. 

THP2  town  of  Little  Falls  was  set  off  from  the  towns  of  Herkimer, 
Fairfield,  and  German  Flats  in  pursuance  to  an  act  of  the  Legislature, 
passed  February  16,  1829.  On  account  of  its  comparatively  recent 
formation,  therefore,  the  history  of  the  town  organization  must  neces- 
sarily be  brief  and  relatively  unimportant.  The  town  embraces  parts 
of  Glen's  purchase,  Staley's  first  tract,  Guy  Johnson's  tract,  Vaughn's 
and  Fall  Hill  patents,  six  lots  in  Burnetsfield,  and  small  triangular 
pieces  of  L'Hommedieu's  and  Lindsay's  patents.  The  town  was  sur- 
veyed by  William  De  Wolf,  of  the  town  of  Columbia,  and  the  follow- 
ing described  boundaries  given  to  it :  "  Beginning  on  the  middle  or 
base  line  of  Glen's  purchase,  at  a  point  where  the  line  between  lots 
numbers  five  and  six  in  said  purchase  unites  with  said  base  or  middle 
line,  and  running  thence  south  along  said  line  to  its  southern  termina- 


".-■  "fyF-GiC!min,N-Y 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  243 

tion  ;  thence  on  the  same  course  continued  to  the  south  bounds  of  the 
town  of  German  Flats ;  thence  along  the  south  bounds  of  said  town  to 
the  southeast  corner  thereof;  thence  along  the  eastern  bounds  of  the 
towns  of  German  Flats  and  Herkimer  to  the  southeast  corner  of  the 
town  of  Fairfield  ;  and  from  thence  by  a  straight  Hne  to  the  place  of 
beginning." 

In  common  with  other  portions  of  the  Mohawk  valley  in  Herkimer 
county,  this  town  was  first  settled  by  Germans  long  previous  to  the 
Revolution.  Mr.  Benton  says:  "There  were  German  inhabitants  in 
nearly  every  direction  around  the  present  village  [of  Little  Falls]  be- 
fore the  Revolution,  but  only  one  habitable  dwelling  and  a  grist-mill 
within  the  present  corporation  limits."  (See  map.)  The  dwelling  men- 
tioned stood  on  the  west  side  of  Furnace  street  and  near  Elizabeth 
street,  north  of  the  old  canal.  It  was  occupied  in  early  years  by  John 
Porteous,  the  Scotch  pioneer.  It  was  removed  by  the  late  William 
I.  Skinner  and  converted  into  an  ice-house.  Most  of  these  early  Ger- 
man settlers  have  been  sufficiently  noticed  in  the  preceding  general 
history,  and  in  the  histories  of  the  towns  from  which  Little  Falls  was 
formed  ;  and  others  will  be  mentioned  a  little  further  on  in  the  history 
of  the  village. 

The  first  town  meeting  was  held  at  the  house  of  Robert  Hinchman, 
on  the  site  of  the  present  Hardin  &  Wheeler  block,  on  the  south  side 
of  Main  street,  in  1829,  and  the  following  officers  were  elected  : 

George  Petrie,  supervisor;  Richard  N.  Casler,  town  clerk;  G-ardeus  Deyor,  Jolin 
Klocls,  Leonard  Eaton  and  Richard  M.  Casler,  assessors;  James  T.  Rankins,  Jacob 
Petrie  and  Parley  Eaton,  commissioners  of  highways;  Thomas  Smith,  overseer  of 
poor;  Calvm  G.  Carpenter,  Solomon  Petrie  and  Bernard  L  Wager,  commissioners  of 
common  schools ;  Walter  H.  Ward,  Calvin  W.  Smith  and  Jacob  Guywitts,  inspectors 
of  common  schools;  John  McMitchell,  collector;  Richard  Winsor,  John  Phillips,  John 
MoMitchell,  Daniel  Dygert,  Joseph  Eysaman,  John  Eaton,  Peter  Van  Vost,  Shired 
Vincent  and  Jacob  Osburn,  constables ;  Martin  Easterbrook,  Adam  Petrie,  Bernard  I, 
Wager,  William  Sponenburg,  and  John  I.  Bellinger,  poundkeepers. 

The  commissioners  of  highways  appointed  the  following  overseers  of 
highways : 

John  Casler,  John  C.  Bellinger,  Jeremiah  Pulver,  Cornelius  Skinkle,  Nathan  Russ, 
Melchert  Rankins,  John  Christman,  John  I.  Bellinger,  Thomas  Rankins,  Samuel  S. 
Boyce,  Jacob  Bellinger,  John  Bort,  Robert  Johns,  Morgan  E.  Case,  Charles  Smith,  An- 
drew G.  Weatherwa.x,  Benjamin  P.  Churchill,  John  Tucker,  William  Bucklin,  Benja- 
min C.  Weatherwax  and  George  Harter. 


244  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

These  lists  contain  the  names  of  aiany  of  the  early  families  of  the 
town. 

On  the  5th  day  of  May,  1829,  the  following  persons  made  applica- 
tion for  license  to  keep  public  houses  in  this  town,  nearlj'  or  quite  all  of 
them  being  in  the  village:  Thomas  S.  Willard,  Peter  Walrath,  Robert 
Hincliman,  Isaac  Churchill,  Leonard  Eaton,  and  William  Sponenburg. 
The  commissioners  of  excise  were  George  Petrie,  C.  P.  Bellinger,  and 
William  Brooks. 

The  principal  occupation  of  the  farming  community,  particularly 
during  the  past  fifty  years,  has  been  dairying,  which  finally  resulted  in 
the  establishment  of  the  celebrated  market  at  Little  Falls  village,  now 
one  of  the  most  important  interior  markets  for  the  sale  of  dairy  products 
in  the  world.  As  a  cheese  producing  district  Little  Falls  ranks  among 
the  best  in  the  country,  and  the  fact  that  this  industry  found  its  local 
center  here  was  largely  due  to  a  resident  of  this  town,  the  late  X.  A. 
Willard,  whose  writings  on  the  subject  have  a  national  reputation. 
Sketches  of  many  of  the  leading  farmers  and  others  of  the  town  are 
given  in  a  later  department  of  this  volume. 

The  surface  of  this  town  is  broken  upland,  divided  by  the  deep,  nar- 
row gorge  of  the  Mohawk  River.  A  range  of  hills  extends  north  and 
south  from  the  village,  rocky  and  precipitous  near  the  river,  but  less 
rugged  on  the  north  and  south  borders.  The  soil  is  a  sandy  and  grav- 
elly loam,  is  well  watered,  and  quite  well  adapted  to  grazing. 

In  connection  with  the  agricultural  interests  of  this  town,  the  Little 
Falls  Grange,  Patrons  of  Hasbandry,  should  receive  due  credit.  It  was 
organized  in  December,  1889,  with  thirty- five  charter  members,  and  is 
now  the  largest  grange  in  the  county,  numbering  about  two  hundred 
members.  Its  object  is  the  general  advancement  of  agriculture  in  all 
its  branches  ;  the  social,  fraternal  and  educational  uplifting  of  its  mem- 
bers, and  the  uniting  and  harmonizing  of  the  agricultural  classes.  The 
officers  of  the  grange  are  :  Philo  W.  Casler,  master ;  Richard  L.  Ran- 
kins,  overseer ;  Joseph   Rice,  lecturer  ;  George   H.  Bradford,  secretary. 

Following  is  the  list  of  supervisors  of  Little  Falls  from  the  organiza- 
tion of  the  town  to  the  present  time  : 

George  Petrie,  1S29, '30 ;  Solomon  Petrie,  183], '32;  Peter  B.  Casler,  1833, '34; 
George  H.  Feeler,  1835,  '36  ;  Abraham  G.  Rosecrantz,  1837,  '38;  Jacob  Petrie,  1839, 


Town  of  little  palls. 


245 


'40  ;  William  L  Skinner,  1841,  '42  ;  Charles  Belong,  1843,  '44 ;  Richard  N.  Casler,  1845, 
'46;  Jorara  Petrie,  1847;  James  Moyer,  1848;  Harvey  D.  Colvin,  1849-54;  Henry 
Thompson,  1855;  Edmund  G.  Chapman,  1856;  Sylvenus  J.  Waters,  1857-59;  Leonard 
Boy.  r.  1860-62;  Zenas  C.  Priest,  1863-06;  George  Keller,  1867-69;  Peter  A.  Star- 
ing, 1870-72;  Albert  Story,  1873;  John  P.  Sharer,  1874-81;  Rugene  Walrath,  1882- 
88;  Hadley  Jones.  1889;  Joseph  W.  Baker,  1890,  '91  ;  Benton  I.  Cooper,  1892. 


THE   VILLAGE   OF   LITTLE   FALLS. 


The  lands  on  the  south  side  of  the  Mohawk  River  on  the  site  of  Lit- 
tle Falls  village  are  a  part  of  the  patent  granted  in  1752  to  Jchan  Joost 
Herchkeinier  (as  spelled  in  the  records)  and  one  other  person,  and  known 


as  the  Fall  Hill  patent.  The  lands  on  the  north  side  of  the  river  are 
embraced  in  Burnetsfield  patent  granted  in  1725  to  Johan  Joost  Petrie 
and  other  Palatines,  while  those  lands  farther  back  in  the  town  are  cov- 
ered by  the  patents  before  mentioned. 

The  site  of  the  village  was  evidently  not  adapted  by  nature  for  the 
purpose  to  which  it  has  been  devoted  by  man,  unless  we  consider  it 
solely  from  an  esthetic  standpoinL    The  Mohawk  River  breaking  through 


246  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

wh;it  was  once  a  mountainous  barrier  of  rock,  has  created  a  deep  gorge 
with  precipitous  sides,  at  the  bottom  of  which  the  clear  waters  of  the 
historic  stream  rush  and  tumble  over  rapids,  the  power  of  which  has 
been  utilized  to  turn  scores  of  wheels  and  which  have  really  led  to  the 
founding  of  the  village  in  such  a  romantic  spot.  As  a  consequence  of 
this  unfavorable  natural  condition,  the  village  has  been  forced  to  expend 
a  vast  amount  of  money  and  energy  in  the  creation  of  streets,  bridges, 
and  other  public  improvements  ;  but  these  obstacles  have  been  boldly 
met  by  the  inhabitants,  and  through  their  well-directed  efforts  the 
village  has  grown  into  one  of  large  proportions  and  picturesque  beauty 
not  often  found. 

Of  the  first  days  of  the  village  Mr.  Benton  wrote  as  follows: 

"  The  grist-mill  destroyed  during  the  Revolution  was  located  on  the  river  near  the 
bed  of  the  old  canal,  and  was  fed  by  Furnace  Creek  and  the  river.  The  dwelling  house 
(mentioned  below)  was  occupied  by  John  Porteous,  proprietor  of  the  mill,  and  his 
assistants,  and  probably  afterward  by  persons  occupied  at  the  carrying-place.  Tlie 
road  or  path  used  for  taking  boats  and  their  cargoes  by  the  river  falls  was  located  very 
nearly  on  the  site  of  the  old  canal.  The  red  grist-mill,  to  supply  the  place  of  the  one 
destroyed,  was  erected  in  1789,  and  the  old  yellow  house  west  of  Furnace  Creek  and 
near  the  north  bank  of  the  old  canal,  was  built  a  short  time  before  that  period.  John 
Porteous  came  to  this  place  in  1790  and  established  himself  in  mercantile  business. 
He  occupied  the  yellow  house,  then  the  only  dwelling  within  the  present  village 
limits." 

The  old  octagon  church,  a  description  of  which  is  given  a  little 
further  on,  was  erected  in  1796. 

The  destruction  of  the  little  settlement  at  Little  Falls  in  June,  1782, 
was  caused  by  a  party  of  Indians  and  tories,  and  was  of  the  same 
wanton  and  fiendish  character  which  marked  many  other  similar  out- 
rages committed  in  the  valley.  The  mill  was  of  great  importance,  not 
only  to  the  immediate  vicinity,  but  to  the  garrisons  at  Forts  Herkimer 
and  Dayton.  The  enemy  fell  upon  the  mill  in  the  night  and  found  in 
the  building  Peter  WoUeaver,  Christian  Edick,  Frederick  Getnian, 
Marks  Rasbach,  Thomas  Shoemaker,  Lawrence  Hatter,  Jacob  Petri, 
Daniel  Petri  (wlio  was  killed),  and  Peter  Orendorff;  Gershom  Skinner 
and  F.  Cox,  who  were  millers ;  and  a  sergeant  and  six  men  from  Cap- 
tain McGregor's  company.  Two  of  the  soldiers  escaped  and  five  were 
taken   prisoners.     There  does  not  seem    to  have   been  much  resistance 


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248  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

oflered  to  tlie  assault.  In  the  few  shots  fired,  Daniel  Petri  was  killed. 
When  the  Indians  entered  the  mill  the  occupants  made  their  best  efforts 
to  escape.  Cox  and  Skinner  secreted  themselves  in  the  raceway,  under 
the  water  wheel,  and  thus  escaped  captivity  and  probably  death. 
Christian  Edick  and  Frederick  Getman  jumped  into  the  raceway,  but 
the  light  from  the  burning  mill  disclosed  their  hiding  place  and  they 
were  captured. 

Among  the  persons  who  settled  at  Little  Falls  between  1790  and 
1 8 10  and  remained  permanently  were,  John  Porteous,  William  Alex- 
ander, Richard  Phillips,  Thomas  Smith,  Joel  Lankton,  Richard  Winsor, 
William  Carr,  William  Moralee,  Washington  Britton,  Alpheus  Park- 
hurst,  John  Drunimond,  Eben  Britton,  and  Josiah  Skinner.  In  this 
connection  the  accompanying  map  and  explanation  are  of  deep  interest. 
The  map  is  the  property  of  Watts  T.  Loomis,  and  the  references  were 
furnished  by  him  after  much  research. 

The  accompanying  map,  left  among  the  papers  of  John  Porteous,  the 
pioneer  of  Little  Falls  (now  in  possession  of  William  G.  Milligan), 
shows  the  lands  acquired  by  Mr,  Porteous,  and  other  interesting  feat- 
ures. Other  documents  left  by  him  show  that  he  came  from  Perth, 
Scotland,  in  1761.  He  passed  about  ten  years  in  the  Indian  trade  in 
the  vicinity  of  Detroit,  and  later  was  in  business  in  New  York  until 
1783.  He  then  went  to  Nova  Scotia,  where  he  had  acquired  land,  and 
in  1784  returned  to  Scotland.  A  \'ear  later  he  came  again  to  New 
York,  went  again  to  Nova  Scotia  and  soon  after  became  connected  with 
Alexander  EUice  and  settled  at  Little  Falls  about  1790.  Here  he  built 
the  red  mill  on  the  site  of  the  first  mill,  and  other  structures,  was  active 
in  the  construction  of  the  first  canal  and  in  making  early  roads  and 
bridges.  He  was  supervisor  of  the  town  of  Herkimer  in  1791-96  and 
conspicuous  in  all  affairs  of  that  period.  He  was  grandfather  of  Mrs. 
William  G.  Milligan.  Mr.  Milligan  placed  in  the  hands  of  the  late 
Dudley  Burwell  some  years  ago  a  mass  of  the  papers  of  Mr.  Porteous, 
for  his  investigation.  In  1873  Mr.  Burwell  reported  to  Mr.  Milligan 
what  he  had  found  of  interest.  He  said  among  other  things:  "I 
think  he  [Mr.  Porteous]  was  somewhat  musical,  as  he  had  a  violin.  He 
seemed  to  have  read  many  books  and  to  have  profited  by  them.  From 
the  letters  addressed  to  him,  one  judges  that  he  was  very  amiable.      He 


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TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS. 


dressed  genteelly,  judging  from  his  wardrobe  —  swore  terrifically  —  en- 
tertained  itinerant   preachers,  drank   toddies,  etc.      He  died  t!ie  20th  of 


March,  1799"     He  left  a  will  appointing  Colonel  Hendrick  Frey  and 
William  Alexander  (who  married  his  daughter)  his  executors. 


250  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

William  Alexander  was  a  native  of  Schenectady  and  settled  at  Little 
Falls  soon  after  Mr.  Porteous,  at  whose  instance  he  became  a  clerk,  and 
was  several  years  connected  with  him  in  business.  He  was  an  intelli- 
gent and  honorable  merchant  and  labored  for  the  growth  of  the  place. 
He  married  a  daughter  of  Mr.  Porteous,  a  highly  educated  and  accom- 
plished young  lady,  and  died  January  13,  181 3.  William  Alexander 
left  a  daughter,  Mary  Porteous  Alejjander,  who  married  first  a  Mr. 
Bowen,  and  second  Robert  Lockwood,  of  Little  Falls.  William's  son, 
Henry  P.,  was  a  merchant  and  president  of  the  Herkimer  County  Bank. 
He  was  a  partner  of  William  Girvan  several  years,  and  died  February 
22,  1867.  His  son  Porteous  was  drowned  young,  and  William  second 
died  many  years  ago.  His  daughter,  Jane  G.,  married  Jesse  C.  Dann  ; 
Catharine  M.  married  Frederick  Lansing,  of  Little  Falls,  who  was  a 
prominent  merchant  and  at  one  period  agent  of  the  Ellice  property. 

Following  William  Alexander,  came  here  his  brothers,  Robert,  John 
and  James.  Robert  was  a  farmer  of  the  town  of  Fairfield,  and  father  of 
Robert,  \\  iliiam,  Samuel  H.  and  James,  and  had  two  daughters,  Jane 
and  Catharine.      Descendants  of  this  branch  still  live  in  Little  Falls. 

John  Alexander  had  a  son  Thomas.  The  former  was  a  merchant  on 
the  site  of  the  Cronkhite  Opera  House.  He  died  in  Little  Falls.  James 
Alexander  removed  west  and  became  wealthy. 

William  Girvan,  early  a  prominent  citizen  of  Little  Falls,  married 
the  widow  of  William  Alexander.  He  was  a  native  of  Scotland  and 
came  here  as  clerk  for  William  Alexander,  who  was  his  cousin.  After 
the  death  of  Mr.  Alexander  (1813)  Mr.  Girvan  carried  on  mercantile 
business  in  Little  Falls  for  many  years.  His  children  by  the  widow  of 
Mr.  Alexander  were  Charles  A.,  deceased  ;  Elizabeth  Ann,  who  became 
the  wife  of  William  G.  Milligan  and  is  deceased.  Mr.  Girvan  married 
second  Mrs.  Mary  Milligan,  widow  of  William  Kerr  Milligan,  father 
of  William  G.  Milligan  and  they  had  children  :  Mary,  living  and  un- 
married;  George  Frederick,  living  in  Little  Falls  ;  Edward,  living  in 
Lowville,  N.  Y.  ;  Agnes,  married  Charles  E.  Teal,  of  Little  Falls  ;  and 
Catharine,  married  George  Hewison,  of  New  York. 

Eben  and  Washington  Britton  were  brothers  and  came  from  West- 
moreland, N.  H.  Eben  settled  here  in  1792,  was  a  tanner  for  many 
years  and    died    August  28,  1832,   leaving  him  surviving:   Mary,  who 


fOWN  OP  LITTLE  FALLS.  251 

intermarried  with  a  Mr.  Hannas  ;  Sarah,  married  Judge  N.  S.  Benton  ; 
another  daughter,  who  became  the  wife  of  Judge  Elisha  P.  Hurlbut ; 
Rebecca,  married  Harmon  Ten  Eyck  and  is  Hving  in  Albany;  Susan, 
married  Henry  McKay,  an  early  merchant  of  Little  Falls.  Mr.  Britton 
was  owner  of  the  Girvan  House  site.  Skinner  Opera  House  site,  the 
Milligan  &  Wheeler  block  site  and  other  lands,  which  were  devised  to 
his  children.     Washington  Britton  died  many  years  earlier. 

William  Feeter  (formerly  Veeder)  was  one  of  a  family  who,  with  the 
exception  of  himself,  followed  Sir  John  Johnson  to  Canada.  He  was 
an  ardent  patriot  in  the  Revolution,  soon  after  which  he  settled  in  Little 
Falls,  cleared  a  large  farm  and  successfully  cultivated  it  more  than 
fifty  years.  He  had  a  family  of  five  sons  and  seven  daughters  and  his 
descendants  are  still  residents  of  the  town  and  county.  He  died  May 
5,  1844. 

Down  to  the  year  1800  the  village  of  Little  Falls  had  shown  little  prog- 
ress. Rev.  Caleb  Alexander  made  a  missionary  tour  through  the  State 
in  1 801  and  here  is  what  he  wrote  of  this  place  : 

November,  1801. — Monday  23d,  set  out  from  Fairfield  on  ray  journey  homewards. 
Cold  weather.  Rode  .south  seven  miles  to  the  Little  Falls  with  a  view  of  taking  a  boat 
at  falls  down  the  river  to  Schenectady.  Found  the  river  covered  with  ice  ;  then  rode  up 
the  river  seven  miles  to  German  Flats  to  take  the  stage.  Finding  that  the  stage  did  not 
run  until  to-morrow  I  crossed  the  Mohawk  to  Herkimer  Court-house,  two  miles. 
Around  the  Little  Falls  the  country  is  hilly  and  very  rocky  near  the  river.  On  the 
northern  bank  are  seven  locks  and  a  canal  for  the  conveyance  of  boats.  Here  is  a  vil- 
lage of  forty  houses,  several  merchant  stores,  mechanical  shops  and  a  new  meeting- 
house of  hexagonal  construction.  The  people  are  principally  English  and  they  seldom 
have  preaching.  The  place  abounds  in  vice,  especially  profanity.  Since  my  arrival  on 
the  river  I  have  heard  more  cursing  and  swearing,  horrid  oaths  and  imprecations  than 
in  ten  years  past.  They  fell  chiefly  from  the  lips  of  boatmen  [on  the  riverj.  In  some 
taverns  were  English  and  Dutch  farmers  drinking  and  swearing,  and  the  English 
appeared  to  be  the  most  abandoned.  They  regard  not  the  presence  of  a  clergyman,  for 
the  dominie  drinks  and  swears  as  much  as  the  common  people. 

It  is  proper  at  this  point  to  speak  of  the  titles  to  real  property  in  Lit- 
tle Falls,  which  were  for  many  years  in  a  peculiar  and  somewhat  un- 
fortunate condition.  Alexander  Ellice,  a  Scotch  merchant,  who  had 
been  friendly  with  Sir  William  Johnson,  obtained  a  patent,  through  the 
influence  of  the  baronet,  to  two  of  the  four  Burnetsfield  lots  on  the  north 
side  of  the  river,  and  to  the  whole  of  Vaughn's  patent,  granted  to  Col. 


252  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

John  Vaughn  in  1770.  The  titles  to  the  latter,  according  to  Mr.  Benton, 
were  derived  through  John  Porteous,  before  mentioned.  The  same 
authority  says:  "  One  of  the  two  lots  12  and  13  Burnetsfield,  embrac- 
ing ail  of  the  water  power  on  the  north  side  of  the  river,  was  owned, 
before  the  Revolution  by  one  of  the  Petrie  family,  who  erected  the  first 
grist-mill  on  Furnace  Creek  and  was  engaged  in  the  carrying  business." 
Alexander  Ellice  died  about  the  year  1808  and  his  property  descended 
to  his  children.  Among  them  was  Edward  Ellice,  who  purchased  the 
shares  of  the  other  heirs,  and  continued  the  owner  of  the  property  here 
until  1 83 1.  The  policy  adopted  by  the  elder  Ellice  to  secure  a  revenue 
was  peculiarly  English,  was  successful  for  his  interests,  and  paralyzing 
to  advancement  at  Little  Falls.  It  consisted  in  a  steadfast  refusal  to  sell 
either  lands  or  water  power,  and  to  insist  on  leases  of  the  same,  gener- 
ally for  long  periods.  The  efifect  of  such  a  policy  upon  an  American 
town  and  American  energy  may  be  readily  inferred.  Men  of  means 
and  brains  in  this  country  are  unwilling  to  make  improvements  upon 
lands  they  do  not  own — absolutely — however  long  a  lease  or  how  low  a 
rate  of  rental  may  be  demanded.  Hence,  while  the  unrivaled  water 
power  could  and  did  prove  sufficient  attraction  to  some  enterprising 
men  (as  amply  shown  in  the  account  of  the  early  manufacturing  opera- 
tions a  few  pages  further  on),  there  still  existed  for  many  years,  and  until 
the  Ellice  title  was  extinguished,  a  sense  of  insecurity  that  put  the  place 
back  a  quarter  of  a  century.  Barent  and  John  R  Bleecker,  of  Albany, 
were  for  many  years  the  agents  direct  of  the  Ellice  estate,  and  in  Little 
Falls  George  H.  Feeter  acted  as  agent  for  the  Bleeckers  for  a  consider- 
able period.  It  was  not  a  very  enviable  office,  all  things  considered. 
The  agent,  in  order  to  do  justice  by  his  employers,  was  often  forced  in- 
to antagonism  with  his  fellow-citizens.  Up  to  the  year  1825  there  were 
some  seventy  or  eighty  lots  let  on  what  were  termed  "  durable  leases  " 
to  fifteen  or  twenty  individuals.  The  leases  were  in  perpetuity  and  for 
each  lot  60  x  lOO  feet  in  area,  a  rental  of  three  Spanish  milled  dollars 
a  year  was  charged.  In  the  earliest  of  these  leases  was  a  clause  pro- 
hibiting the  establishment  of  stores  for  the  sale  of  goods,  this  business 
being  reserved  as  a  perquisite  for  the  benefit  of  Ellice's  agents.  The 
water  power  was  also  held  under  restriction,  and  would  be  neither  sold 
nor  let.     The   Ellices  owned  the  grist-mill  and  saw-mill,  which   they 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  2S3 

leased  for  a  large  price,  and  wanted  no  competitors.  This  policy  could 
not  be  otherwise  than  detrimental  to  the  growth  of  the  village.  In  later 
years,  however  (about  1820),  a  lease  was  granted  for  a  site  for  a  fulling- 
mill,  and  in  1824,  another  to  Sprague  &  Dann  for  a  paper  mill,  both  on 
what  is  now  Mill  street ;  these  manufactures  and  others  are  described  a 
little  further  on.  In  1825  a  few  dwelling  sites  were  sold — one  to  San- 
ders Lansing,  one  to  Nathaniel  S.  Benton,  and  one  to  David  Petrie  ;  and 
occasional  lots  were  sold  from  that  time  onward.  Most  of  the  early 
lessees  had  several  lots.  The  principal  proprietors  before  the  year  1825 
were  Eben  Britton,  Thomas  Gould,  Thomas  Smith,  Robert  Hinchman, 
Samuel  Smith,  Solomon  Lockwood,  the  heirs  of  William  and  John 
Ale.x-ander,  and  those  of  John  Pr'otheroe  and  William  Morallee.  The 
accompanying  map  shows  the  condition  of  the  early  village,  its  streets, 
and  the  lessees  of  many  of  the  lots.  This  map  is  also  the  property  of 
Watts  T.  Loomis. 

The  Ellice  titles  were  almost  wholly  extinguished  in  i83i,as  indi- 
cated on  the  accompanying  map,  showing  leased  and  sold  lots  and  the 
names  of  many  of  the  owners.  This  map  was  made  in  1831  for  Peter 
Gansevoort,  James  Stevenson,  Charles  L.  Livingston,  Mordecai  Myers, 
James  Monroe,  Aaron  Remer,  and  John  H.  Webb.  The  lots  printed 
black  in  the  engraving  indicate  those  that  had  been  leased  or  sold  by 
the  Ellice  interest.  Those  printed  white  had  come  into  possession  of 
the  above  named  proprietors.  Of  these  white  lots,  sales  had  been 
made  at  the  time  the  map  was  drawn  (1831)  to  the  following  persons 
who  had  bought  the  numbers  accompanying  their  names: 

Lot.';  53-54,  to  P.  Eaton.     55,  J.  Petrie,  56-81-84-86-87,  Lansing.     57-82-83, 

B.  Galloon.     58-59,  Dr.  Green.    60-61-62,  D.  Burwell.     63-64, Shepard.     65  to 

68  inclusive  and  73-76-77,  C.  Sharer.     74-75,  Mordecai  Meyers.     72, Peak.     78- 

79,  and  15.5-6-7,  Ann  street,  Parley  Eaton.  88-89,  and  59  Church  street,  James 
Monroe.  90  to  93  inclusive,  Solomon  Petrie.  98  and  58  on  Church  street,  Peter 
Gausevoort.  7  Third  street,  and  No.  3,  corner  John  and  Fourth  street,  and  C  and  D 
John  street,  C.  L.  Livingston.  5  Third  street,  B  and  F  John  street,  161  Church  street, 
A.  Loomis.  3  Third  street,  A.  Case;  4,  corner  of  Third  and  John  street,  Mcin- 
tosh.    153-2  Ann  street, Beardsley.     154   Ann,  James  Monroe;  also  168-9  south 

side  of  John.  170-71  John,  John  H.  Webb.  172,  178-9,  183-84  John,  Aaron  Remer. 
174-5,  John  K.  Bremner.     -176-7  John,  C.  L.  Livingston.     182,  John  C.  Sharer.     13- 

17-19,  north  side  of  John,  Stevens,     21,   nortli   side  of  John,  James  Monroe. 

28-29,  John,  H.  P.  Alexander.     45-47  John,  and  41-42-44  and  40  Albany,  D.  Burwell. 


254  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

48  All)any,  J.,H.  Webb.  50  Albany,  A.  Remer.  17-19  Alljany,  north  side  and  ]i  .",, 
corner  of  William  and  Albany,  Peter  Gansevoort.  166-7  Albany,  A.  Remer.  38  run- 
ning through  from  Albany  to  Catherine  (now  Main),  B.  Lewis.  39  Albany,  C.  B. 
Griffin.     40  Albany,  Robert  Stewart.     35  Main,  A.  Loomis.     36  Main,  John  H.  Webli. 

9- 10-'_>9-l 9-20-21  and  115.  Bromner.     IIC  Garden,  M.  Myers.     122  Garden.  J,  II. 

Webb.    27  Garden,  John  Dygert.     13-14-15  Garden,  Burwell  &  Alexander. 

Mr  Benton  wrote:  "  The  paralyzing  policy  of  the  proprietor,  who 
was  an  alien,  in  limiting  his  alienations  to  leases  in  fee,  requiring  an 
annual  rent,  and  refusing  to  make  only  a  few  grants  of  that  description, 
to  whicli  he  affixed  the  most  stringent  conditions  and  restrictions  in  the 
exercise  of  trade  and  the  improvement  of  the  water  power,  kept  the 
place  nearly  stationary  until  1831,  excepting  that  part  of  the  present 
village  on  the  south  side  of  the  river,  not  subject  to  the  dead  weight  of 
non-alienation.  Upon  the  opening  of  the  Erie  Canal  in  1825,  the  only 
erections  in  that  part  of  the  village  were  a  bridge,  and  a  toll  house  at 
the  south  end  of  the  bridge;  the  Bellinger  grist-mill  and  a  small  dwell- 
ing, for  the  miller's  residence,  and  the  Vrooman  house."  As  bearing 
upon  the  condition  of  the  village  just  before  the  completion  of  the  canal, 
we  quote  as  follows  from  the  People  s  Friend,  one  of  the  early  news- 
papers of  the  village,  under  date  of  June  19,  1822  : 

•'This  [inland  navigation]  has  become  a  pleasant  subject.  The  general  liveline  ■ 
which  has  prevailed  on  our  streets  since  the  commencement  of  the  regular  trips  of  ti 
packets  between  tlii.'i  and  Utica  is  really  cheering.  But  the  interest  of  the  thing  is  1 
no  means  confined  to  these:  an  unaccountable  number  of  other  boats  of  various  fern 
and  dimen-sions  continue  to  crowd  both  the  river  and  Erie  Canal.  On  the  IGlh,  we  a; 
told,  thirty  boats  were  together  on  the  river  at  the  landing  place  half  a  mile  aboM' 
Little  Falls,  while  a  number  more  lay  in  the  canal  close  by." 

In  1 83  I,  as  before  noted,  Edward  Ellice  sold  out  his  real  estate  here, 
and  within  a  few  years  it  came  into  possession  of  Richard  R.  Ward  and 
James  Munroe,  of  New  York,  but  not  as  joint  owners.  No  sale  of  the 
water  power  in  separate  lots  or  privileges  was  made  before  Mr.  Ward 
became  the  sole  owner  of  all  that  portion  of  the  original  purchase  of  Mr. 
Ellice.  When  these  were  brought  into  market,  General  Bellinger,  the 
principal  owner  of  the  water  power  on  the  south  side  of  the  river, 
also  placed  his  property  in  market  and  numerous  mills,  factories  and 
other  industries  were  soon  established,  as  shown  further  on.  In  1830 
the  population  of  the  town  was  2,539,  about  1,700  of  which  were  with- 
in the  village  limits. 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  255 

Meanwhile,  in  1811,  a  village  charter  was  granted;  but  there  seem 
to  be  no  records  of  public  business  under  that  charter,  the  existing 
records  beginning  with  the  year  1827,  when  a  new,  or  amended  charter 
was  adopted.  Under  this  the  corporation  was  authorized  to  open 
streets  which  had  been  dedicated  to  public  use,  as  laid  down  on  a  map 
made  by  the  proprietor  in  181 1.     Mr.  Benton  says  : 

The  power  given  was  executed  in  the  first  instance,  by  opening  Albany,  Garden  and 
Second  streets,  at  the  expense  of  the  owners  of  the  adjoining  lots.  This  touched  the 
proprietor's  purse,  and  he  consented  to  sell  in  fee  the  lots  on  those  streets.  This,  how- 
ever, did  not  reach  the  water  power,  which  was  not  improved,  neither  would  the  pro- 
prietors on  either  side  of  the  river  consent  to  sell  lots  and  water  rights,  but  the  alien 
owner  adopted  the  plan  of  making  short  leases,  by  which  he  anticipated  a  rich  harvest 
on  the  falUng  in  of  the  reversions.  The  people  of  the  village  were  not  slow  to  per- 
ceive the  fatal  effects  of  this  policy,  and  applied  to  the  Legislature  for  the  passage  of 
an  act  to  prohibit  the  alien  proprietor  from  making  any  grants  or  leases,  except  in  fee. 
These  were  the  conditions  on  which  he  was  authorized  to  take,  hold  and  convey  lands 
in  this  State.  The  act  passed  the  Senate  at  the  session  of  1831,  and  was  sent  to  the 
Assembly  for  concurrence.  The  agents  offered  to  sell  the  whole  proprietary  interest  in 
the  village  for  $50,C00,  and  active  negotiations  were  set  on  foot  by  several  parties  to 
make  the  purchase.  The  bill  was  finally  acted  upon  in  the  House,  and  rejected.  Al- 
most simultaneous  with  that  rejection,  the  sale  was  effected  to  several  members  of  that 
body  and  other  parties,  and  the  purchasers  in  a  short  time  realizad  a  net  $50,000  on 
their  purchase,  or  very  nearly  that  sum.  Whether  there  was  any  connection  between 
the  defeat  of  tne  bill,  and  the  sale,  I  never  sought  to  know.  The  sale  accomplished  all 
that  the  village  desired,  because  we  believed  the  purchasers  had  bought  with  the  in- 
tention of  selling  out,  as  fast  as  they  could  ;  but  the  proprietor,  Mr.  EUice,  had  a  large 
interest  at  stake  ;  he  was  the  owner  of  other  considerable  tracts  of  land,  not  only  in 
this  county,  but  in  different  parts  of  the  State  ;  it  was  important  to  him,  therefore,  to 
get  rid  of  the  restrictive  provisions  of  the  bill  in  respect  to  his  other  lands.  His  agents 
in  this  country  were  well  satisfied  that  the  applicants  for  coercive  but  just  measures 
would  not  rest  quietly  under  one  defeat,  and  that  his  interest  would  be  damaged  in  pro- 
portion to  the  duration  of  the  controversy. 

The  new  proprietors  made  immediate  arrangements  to  bring  the  property  into 
market,  and  effected  large  sales  by  auction  and  private  sale,  in  the  year  1831,  and  in 
the  course  of  a  few  years,  what  remained  of  the  original  purchase,  with  other  lands  of 
Mr.  Ellice  on  the  north  side  of  the  river,  came  into  the  hands  of  Richard  R.  Ward  and 
Col.  James  Munroe,  of  New  York. 

Going  back  to  the  little  village  in  1816,  we  learn  that  it  then  con- 
sisted of  only  two  streets.  These  were  the  turnpike,  now  known  as 
Main  street,  and  Western  avenue,  which  then  extended  on  the  present 
line  no  farther  than  to  cross  Furnace  Creek,  where  it  turned  down  east 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  Ihl 

of  the  yellow  house,  thence  over  the  old  canal,  and  along  between  the 
old  lock  canal  and  the  river,  to  the  head  of  the  falls.  The  other  road 
was  what  is  now  called  German,  Bridge,  Ann  and  Church  streets,  cross- 
ing the  river  from  the  south  and  leading  to  Eatonville.(  These  roads 
can  be  readily  followed  by  reference  to  the  maps.)  There  were  not  more 
than  forty  dwellings  in  the  village;  the  octagon  church  had  not  been 
finished;  there  were  the  stone  school  house,'  two  taverns,  two  black- 
smith shops,  five  or  six  stores  and  groceries  and  the  mills.  The  open- 
ing of  the  canal  of  the  Western  Inland  Lock  Navigation  Company  in 
1795-96  gave  something  of  an  impetus  to  the  growth  of  the  village  ; 
but  the  resulting  growth  was  not  very  marked,  and  the  village  remained 
in  nearly  the  condition  above  described  until  about  1828. 

Under  the  charter  of  1827  the  amount  authorized  to  be  raised  by  tax 
for  all  purposes  could  not  exceed  $300  annually.  The  highway  tax 
was  left  to  the  jurisdiction  of  the  town  authorities.  The  first  election 
held  under  that  charter  for  village  oflficers  resulted  as  follows : 

President,  Nathaniel  S.  Benton;  trustees,  Christopher  P.  Bellinger,  William  Girvan, 
Sanders  Lansing,  James  Sanders,  Gould  Wilson,  and  John  McMichael ;  fire  wardens, 
Robert  Stewart,  Jacob  Osborn,  and  John  Phillips ;  treasurer,  Henry  P.  Alexander ; 
collector,  Jeremiah  Eaton. 

Newspaper  files,  those  invaluable  records  upon  which  the  historian 
must  so  largely  depend,  are  very  incomplete  in  this  town  in  early  years. 
The  People's  Friend,  from  which  we  have  already  quoted,  was  in  ex- 
istence for  a  few  years  after  1820,  but  there  are  only  a  few  numbers  of 
it  now  accessible.  In  1824  it  was  published  by  Edward  M.  Griffing, 
who  doubtless  found  it  difficult  to  sustain  his  enterprise.  There  are 
a  few  advertisements  in  the  paper.  Gould  Wilson  was  a  cabinetmaker. 
William  Brooks  sold  groceries,  hardware,  paints,  crockery,  etc.,  on 
Catherine  street,  two  doors  west  of  the  store  of  A.  Fuller  (now  Geo.  H. 
Failing's  block).  He  appears  to  have  been  getting  desperate,  for  he 
announced  that  he  was  "  determined  to  discontinue  this  long-winded 
credit  business,"  and  called  for  40,000  bushels  of  ashes.  Charles  At- 
kinson had   lost   his  Newfoundland  dog.      William  Talcott  was  the  hat- 

'  The  old  school-house  is  still  standing  on  the  west  side  o£  Church  street  and  used  as  a  dwelling. 
The  bell  of  the  old  house  is  now  in  use  on  the  engine-house  on  Ann  street,  at  rear  of  the  Milligan 
&  Wheeler  block. 


258  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

ter  of  the  place  one  door  west  of  Hinchman's  Inn  (W.  A.  Pepper  &  Co.), 
and  the  "  Green  Store "  (southwest  corner  Third  and  Main  streets) 
was  kept  by  Burritt  &  Tonilinson,  on  First  street.  D.  Petrie  and  J. 
Petrie  had  a  general  store  (southeast  corner  Main  and  Ann  streets)  and 
Mather  &  Waldo  were  tinners  and  sold  stoves.  D.  &  E.  Sprague  oper- 
ated the  paper-mill  and  also  carried  on  a  store  Chauncey  Marshall 
sold  dry -goods  and  J.  McComb  had  a  tobacco  factory  (Amos  Keller's 
block).  Wendell  &  Jenkins  were  merchants  and  E.  Hathaway  &  Co. 
carried  on  the  Little  Falls  bakery,  corner  of  Second  and  Garden  streets. 
Smith  &  Hamilton  had  a  drug  store  and  Martin  Bettinger  was  a  saddler. 
The  Union  Library  had  been  in  existence,  but  it  does  not  appear  to  have 
been  very  thriving,  as  the  books,  etc.,  were  offered  for  sale  at  auction 
by  David  Benseley  and  David  Petrie,  treasurer  and  librarian.  The 
"  Aquatic  Bookstore"  passed  through  the  place  on  the  canal,  a  unique 
evidence  of  enterprise  by  some  Yankee,  and  in  December  there  was  a 
call  in  the  paper  for  a  local  bank.  These  notes  give  a  glimpse  of  the 
business  interests  of  the  village  at  quite  an  early  day  ;  and  we  have  no 
files  to  which  to  refer  after  that  year  until  1836,  when  the  Mohawk 
Courier  was  in  existence.  From  that  paper  we  learn  that  the  Utica 
and  Schenectady  Railroad  was  in  process  of  construction.  It  will  be 
remembered  that  this  was  the  beginning  of  one  of  the  various  periods 
of  financial  stringency  from  which  the  country  has  suffered.  On  the 
30th  of  June  the  editor  wrote  : 

"  Notwithstanding  the  severity  of  the  times  our  village  is  enhvened  as  usual  by  the 
traffic  and  industry  of  our  enterprising  citizens.  From  recent  changes  in  proprietorship 
of  real  estate  we  have  reason 'to  believe  that  the  natural  and  artificial  advantages  of 
this  locality  will  be  improved,  as  our  people  have  long  and  patiently  hoped." 

The  editorial  then  alludes  to  the  unexcelled  water  power,  the  canal, 
the  railroad,  and  the  market  facilities  of  the  village.  On  the  25th  of 
July  the  paper  records  that  "  a  locomotive  and  two  beautiful  carriages 
in  train  passed  over  the  whole  line  of  the  road  from  Schenectady  to 
Utica  and  returned  the  same  day."  The  latter  trip,  we  are  informed, 
was  made  in  four  hours  and  fourteen  minutes. 

In  August  of  this  year  (1836)  the  paper  notes  that  the  water  lots  and 
real  estate  on  the  north  side  of  the  Mohawk,  bounded  north  by  Canal 
street  and  Western  avenue,  and  extending  from  the  head  of  the  falls  to 


fOWl'I  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  259 

the  foot  of  the  basin,  were  purchased  in  the  previous  week  by  A. 
Loomis  of  Richard  R.  Ward  for  $50,000.  A  flour- mill  was  then  in 
process  of  construction  by  "  Mr.  Durky  "  (Rodney  Durkee),  and  a 
woolen  factory  was  soon  to  be  started  by  S.  P.  Fuller.  These  are  evi- 
dences of  the  increasing  thrift  and  enterprise  which  were  beginning  to 
develop  in  the  village. 

Before  his  death  Hon  Arphaxed  Loomis  wrote  the  following  account 
of  how  the  aqueduct  and  basin  at  Little  Falls  came  to  be  built  : 

"  In  1 82 1,  when  the  Erie  canal  was  in  progress  of  construction  on  the 
south  side  of  the  river,  no  part  of  the  village  proper  existed  on  the 
south  side  of  the  river,  and  no  streets  were  on  that  side  except  the  road 
leading  from  the  river  bridge  to  German  Flats,  but  it  was  a  rocky  waste 
covered  with  shrubbery.  The  local  agent  of  Mr.  Ellice,  Mr.  George  H. 
Feeter,  and  the  citizens  of  the  village,  were  alarmed  and  feared  that  the 
business  of  the  village  would  be  seriously  impaired  for  want  of  im- 
mediate connection  with  the  canal.  A  feeder  at  Little  Falls  to  be  taken 
from  the  south  side  was  the  plan  then  in  contemplation.  The  canal 
commissioner  was  requested  by  Mr.  Feeter  and  other  citizens  to  take 
the  feeder  from  the  old  canal  on  the  north  side  of  the  river  which 
the  State  had  purchased  from  the  Inland  Lock  Navigation  Company, 
and  connect  it  by  an  aqueduct  across  the  river  with  the  Erie  Canal. 
This  project  of  feeding  would  be  more  expensive  than  that  in  contem- 
plation by  the  canal  commissioners.  A  negotiation  was  had,  and 
finally  an  arrangement  was  made  by  which  it  was  agreed  between 
Henry  Seymour,  the  commissioner  on  the  part  of  the  State,  and  the 
agents  of  Mr.  Ellice  and  the  citizens  of  the  village,  that  the  State  would 
adopt  the  aqueduct  plan,  provided  the  stone  requisite  for  the  work 
should  be  furnished  and  delivered  free  of  expense  to  the  State  and  the 
work  of  construction  should  be  done  by  the  State.  The  Bleeckers,  the 
principal  agents  of  Mr.  Ellice  at  Albany,  were  seen,  and  it  was  agreed 
that  the  interests  of  the  proprietor  were  so  seriously  involved  that  by 
their  direction  Mr.  Feeter  entered  into  a  contract  with  Henry  Heath  to 
deliver  the  stone  required  for  forty- five  cents  a  perch.  The  contract 
was  performed  by  Mr.  Heath,  and  a  disagreement  as  to  the  quantity 
and  payment  having  arisen,  a  lawsuit  ensued,  in  which  the  history  of 
the  whole  transaction  was  placed  in    evidence,  and  thus  the  history  of 


2G0  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

the  building  of  the  aqueduct  at  the  joint  expense  of  the  State  and  of 
the  owners  of  the  land  and  citizens  on  the  north  side,  and  of  the  con- 
struction of  the  basin  on  Mr.  Ellice's  land  at  his  own  expense,  was  pre- 
served. The  basin  itself  was  the  private  enterprise  of  Mr.  Ellice  and 
the  citizens.  A  subscription  of  about  $2,000  was  raised  by  the  citizens, 
beside  a  contribution  of  Mr.  Ellice,  to  effect  what  was  then  deemed  an 
improvement  of  great  importance  to  the  interests  of  the  village.  Since 
that  time  long  ago  the  village  has  extended  across  the  river  and  the 
canal,  the  aqueduct  is  now  in  the  midst  of  it,  and  the  storehouses  and 
business  connected  with  it  are  now  its  borders," 

As  a  further  indication  of  the  growth  of  the  place  between  1824  and 
183S,  the  following  facts  from  advertisements  are  taken  from  the  Cou- 
rier : 

M.  Richardson  was  a  surgeon  dentist  and  jeweler  on  Catharine 
street,  opposite  Hinchman's  Hotel.  William  H.  Grant  announced  that 
the  Railroad  Exchange  "  near  .the  depot  of  the  railroad  is  now  open  for 
company."  The  Herkimer  County  Mutual  Insurance  Company  was  in 
existence,  with  James  M.  Gray  as  agent,  and  William  Chase  advertised 
village  lots  for  sale.  Franklin  Adams  was  a  bookseller  and  book- 
binder (and  is  still  vigorously  prosecuting  his  business),  and  Benjamin  A. 
Feeter  had  just  opened  a  saddle,  trunk  and  harness  shop  one  door  south 
of  William  Girvan's  grocery;  while  Benjamin  Snell  carried  on  the  same 
business  in  the  shop  formerly  occupied  by  John  Beardslee,  corner  of 
Catharine  and  Ann  streets.  Sylvanus  J.  Waters  had  just  taken  the  old 
stand  one  door  east  of  the  Little  Falls  Hotel  for  the  sale  of  groceries  and 
liquors.  The  "  Little  Falls  Cash  Store  "  was  situated  at  No.  i  Phoenix 
Row;  this  was  the  building,  a  part  of  which  is  now  (1892)  occupied 
by  Aldridge  &  Co.,  corner  of  Main  and  Second  streets,  the  middle  part 
standing  as  it  did  at  that  time,  and  now  occupied  by  L.  R.  Klock. 
James  Wilcox  carried  on  the  "  Cash  Store."  A  "  new  wholesale  stove 
establishment"  was  advertised  by  D.  &  J.  Petrie  &  Co.,  the  firm  being 
David  and  Joram  Petrie  and  Horace  H.  Johnson  ;  the  store  had  pre- 
viously been  occupied  by  Brown  &  Bradley,  corner  of  Catharine  and 
Ann  streets.  J.  H.  Prentiss  was  a  jeweler,  and  Dr.  D.  Belknap  was  a 
dentist,  as  well  as  a  physician.  Ezekiel  Morris  said  :  "  I  have  com- 
menced the  axe-making  business  at  the  west  end  of  the  village  near  the 


^^^^»^<-L    ^/^ 


TOWN  OP  LITTLE  FALLS.  261 

Mohawk  furnace."  T.  &  H.  M.  Burch  sold  stoves,  and  the  Rockton 
flour-mill  was  run  by  Durkee  &  Eaton.  Peter  Boyer  sold  stone  lime, 
and  L.  R.  French  had  begun  making  the  "  patent  screw  bedstead  "  on 
the  south  side  of  the  river.  H.  &  S.  Parnialee  had  a  general  store  on 
the  south  side,  and  O  W.  Couch  kept  the  Little  Falls  Hotel.  The 
Little  Falls  Temperance  Society  was  in  operation,  and  J.  C.  Dann,  P. 
Staring,  and  R.  N.  Casler,  who  were  the  town  committee,  advertised  a 
Republican  meeting  at  "  the  house  of  Leigh  &  Dygert  "  A  meeting 
was  called  for  February  19,  1838,  to  "re-establish  the  village  library." 
"  Previous  to  the  disastrous  fire  of  January,  1836,"  said  the  notice,  "  a 
successful  effort  had  been  made  to  organize  a  Library  Association  here." 
The  first  library  was  burned.  In  September,  1839,  President  Van 
Buren  visited  the  village  and  the  event  was  properly  celebrated.  An 
address  was  delivered  by  Arphaxed  Loomis,  and  Col.  A.  G.  Rosecrantz 
was  chief  marshal  of  the  parade.  The  assemblage  gathered  at  the 
Little  Falls  Hotel  at  8  A.  M,  and  proceeded  thence  to  Herkimer  as  an 
escort  for  the  distinguished  guest.  The  president  reached  Little  Falls 
on  the  1 2th;  a  hundred  guns  were  fired,  and  in  the  parade  he  was  es- 
corted in  a  barouche  and  four  white  horses,  in  company  with  N.  S. 
Benton,  George  H.  Feeter,  and  Solomon  Petrie.  In  the  same  year  a 
correspondent  wrote  of  the  visible  improvements  in  the  place;  that  the 
population  was  exactly  3,000;  that  there  were  the  academy,  a  paper- 
mill,  one  church,  one  furnace,  one  woolen  factory  and  seven  stores, 
which  had  been  added  during  the  year  1839.  New  streets  had  been 
opened,  and  there  were  also  in  operation  two  saw- mills,  two  flour- mills, 
one  custom  grist-mill,  three  paper  mills,  one  plaster- mill,  one  carding- 
mill,  two  furnaces,  one  sash  and  blind  factory,  one  machine  shop,  one 
distillery,  one  brewery,  two  malt  houses,  two  bakeries,  one  trip  ham- 
mer, two  tin  shops,  one  tannery,  and  another  woolen- mill,  a  paper-mill, 
and  a  furnace  in  process  of  construction.  There  were  twenty  mercantile 
establishments  and  one  bank,  A  Mechanics'  Association  was  organ- 
ized in  December,  which  continued  in  existence  several  years. 

A  glance  at  the  village  records  for  the  period  of  which  the  foregoing 
treats,  down  to  the  year  1840,  shows  that  public  improvements  had 
kept  pace  with  private  enterprise.  As  early  as  1829  a  committee  was 
appointed  from    the    trustees  to  locate  two  fire  cisterns;   Garden  and 


262  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Manheim  streets  were  opened,  and  the  committee  on  fire  department 
was  authorized  to  "  fix  on  a  suitable  location  as  nearly  central  as  may  be, 
pursuant  to  the  permission  of  the  Ellices,"  for  the  fire  engine  house. 
In  1830  Albany  and  William  streets  were  improved;  and  also,  Second, 
Mary,  Third,  Fourth,  Fifth,  and  Church  streets,  were  further  opened 
and  improved,  while  suitable  extensions  were  made  to  the  village  side- 
walks. In  1 83  I  Barent  and  John  R.  Bleecker  (agents  of  the  Ellice  in- 
terest) offered  to  file  a  bond  for  $1,000  and  to  make  and  complete  First 
street  according  to  the  ordinances.  The  offer  was  accepted.  Fifteen 
dollars  was  fixed  as  the  price  of  licenses,  and  R.  N.  Casler,  James  F. 
West,  J.  P.  Casler,  Margaret  McDonald,  Thompson  Parkhurst,  Orin 
Searl,  Jacob  Osburn,  John  Dygert,  Elisha  Bateman,  Richard  S.Thomp- 
son, Andrew  A.  Oliver,  Edward  Dann,  Nicholas  Harder,  Mrs.  Milligan, 
Franklin  Barnes  and  James  Plack,  took  out  licenses — sixteen  in  all. 
As  D.  Burwell  had  already  offered  a  resolution  that  $60  be  raised  for 
corporation  purposes,  it  would  seem  that  the  license  fund  of  $240 
would  have  left  a  considerable  profit.  A  special  meeting  was  held  in 
December  to  consider  the  extermination  of  prevailing  small  pox,  and 
Drs.  Lester  Green,  Hosea  flamiltoii,  and  Calvin  W.  Smith  were  ap- 
pointed a  board  of  health. 

During  the  period  from  1830  to  1835  extensive  improvements  were 
made  in  the  village  streets,  including  First  (now  Main),  Albany,  Mary, 
Catharine  (now  Main),  Canal,  John,  Ann,  Second,  Mohawk  and  Bridge 
streets  ;  and  German,  Jefferson,  Bellinger  and  Mohawk,  on  the  south  side, 
were  declared  public  highways.  The  cholera  raged  throughout  this 
country  in  1832-33,  and  attention  was  called  to  the  matter  in  the  board 
of  trustees,  by  ordering  thorough  cleaning  of  premises  and  abatement  of 
all  nuisances;  but  there  was  very  little  of  the  disease  in  this  village,  as  far 
as  shown  by  the  records.  A  census  was  ordered  in  1832,  which  showed 
that  there  were  246  families  in  the  village,  with  a  population  of  811 
males  and  791  females,  436  of  whom  were  on  the  south  side.  In  1834 
a  fire  company  was  organized  for  the  south  side,  an  engine  house  was 
built  at  a  cost  of  $192,  and  a  hook  and  ladder  company  was  attached 
to  engine  company  No.  i.  In  1835  Martin  W.  Priest  and  J.  C.  Dann 
were  authorized  by  the  trustees  to  purchase  two  new  engines  and  a 
hose,  and  to  dispose  of  the  apparatus  on  hand.      It  is  of  interest  to  pre- 


SS^'C^.i^i 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  263 

serve  the  names  of  tlie  early  fire  companies  about  this  period  on  both 
sides  of  the  river,  for  it  will  be  seen  that  many  of  the  leading  citizens 
were  members      They  were  as  follow  : 

Fire  company  o£  May,  1830:  Amos  Parkhurst,  James  Sanders,  Robert  Stewart, 
Andrew  Oliver,  Elijah  Case,  jr.,  William  Taloott,  diaries  Ellis,  James  Smith,  Charles 
Smith,  Moses  Drake,  Washington  Van  Driesen,  Thompson  Parkhurst,  Gordon  Steven- 
son, Samuel  Alexander,  Richard  S.  Thompson,  Hoiace  Johnson,  Henry  Meloy,  Josiah 
Lockwood,  John  Beardslee,  Henry  P.  Alexander,  Jesse  Styles,  Truman  Fox,  Harman 
G-.  Ten  Eyok,  Orange  Angell,  John  Phillips. 

Fire  company  on  South  side  in  1834  :  Henry  Thompson,  William  L  Skinner,  John 
J.  Taylor,  Amon  J.French,  Henry  Hastings,  Martin  W.  Priest,  William  Page,  Samuel 
Miller,  Martin  L.  Basterbrooks,  Charles  Ellis,  Henry  Secknor,  Barney  H.  Ellis,  Leander 
Britton,  J.  S.  Hayes,  Simon  Marcomb.  H.  H.  Petrie,  Eli  Holden,  David  Labau,  S.  W. 
Shepard,  Wra.  Walradt,  Robert  Casler,  Henry  C    Loucks,  Joseph  Lee,  Gaylord  Heath. 

Hook  and  ladder  company,  1834:  Ezra  C.  Southworth,  James  0.  De  Grush,  Samuel 
P.  Fuller,  Ferdinand  P.  St.  John,  Charles  B.  Eddy.  Jeremiah  Gurney,  Charles  A.  Gir- 
van,  Norman  Tryon. 

During  the  period  from  1S40  to  the  breaking  out  of  the  civil  war 
advancement  in  the  village  was  rapid  and  of  a  permanent  character. 
The  grievous  lease  system  had  been  wiped  out  and  a  greater  degree  of 
confidence  was  felt  by  investors  and  tradesmen.  New  streets  were 
opened  and  many  new  industries  established.  The  village  ran  in  debt, 
of  course;  that  seems  to  be  the  natural  result  in  all  corporations  of  a 
municipal  character.  By  1847  the  debt  had  reached  about  $6,000  and 
a  charter  amendment  meeting  was  called  at  the  stone  school-house  for 
April  12,  to  consider  means  for  the  extinguishment  of  the  indebted- 
ness The  result  was  the  raising  of  the  amount  of  annual  tax  in  1850 
to  $800,  $500  of  which  was  to  be  applied  annually  to  debt-paying  pur- 
poses. While  this  action  sufficed  for  that  time,  it  did  not  prevent  the 
after  accumulation  of  another  burden  of  a  similar  character. 

On  the  9th  of  June,  1848,  a  special  election  was  held  to  vote  on  the 
question  of  raising  and  appropriating  $950  to  pay  for  piping  water  from 
the  cistern  in  the  public  square  to  near  the  intersection  of  Catharine 
(now  Main)  and  Ann  streets  for  fire  extinguishing  purposes  ;  the 
measure  was  carried.  In  the  following  year  (1849),  the  inhabitants 
were  affected  by  the  prevailing  cholera  scare,  but  the  village  and  its 
vicinity  were  not  destined  to  suffer  severe  affliction  from  that  disease. 
In  185 1  $300   were    appropriated   for  improvement  of  the  fire  engine 


2G4  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

houses,  and  a  like  sum  for  an  addition  to  the  cemetery.  In  1852  a 
watch-house  was  ordered  built  on  the  north  side  of  Main  street,  about 
opposite  Fifth  street.  The  committee  were  Asa  Wilcox,  Joseph  K. 
Chapman,  arid  Thomas  Dale.  It  was  built  by  the  late  Col.  Leonard 
Boyer  for  $186,  and  the  materials  of  the  old  watch-house.  Gas  was 
introduced  in  the  village  in  1853  and  A.  G.  Story  was  given  the  ex- 
clusive privilege  of  laying  pipes  in  the  streets  for  that  purpose.  In  the 
same  year  $1,000  were  raised  for  improvement  of  the  fire  department. 
By  this  time  the  general  village  fund  had  reached  nearly  $3,000  an- 
nually, and  it  stood  near  tliat  for  a  number  of  years.  The  charter  was 
again  amended  in  1857,  making  the  trustees  the  assessors  and  commis- 
sioners of  highways,  fixing  compensation  of  the  clerk  and  street  com- 
missioner, etc. 

Among  the  prominent  residents  of  Little  Falls,  many  of  whose  names 
have  been  mentioned,  it  is  proper  at  the  first  to  give  a  brief  account 
of  the  careers  of  Zenas  C.  Priest,  Harry  Burrell,  and  William  I.  Skin- 
ner. 

Gen.  Zenas  C.  Priest  was  born  in  the  town  of  Fairiield,  April  18, 
1806.  When  seventeen  years  of  age  he  began  business  on  his  own  ac- 
count, remaining  in  his  native  town  until  1824,  when  he  removed  to  the 
village  of  Little  Falls  and  became  a  clerk,  and  acted  as  such  until  he 
acquired  an  independent  business  as  owner  and  manager  of  several 
bakeries  in  the  valley.  In  1835  he  was  deputy  sheriff,  and  in  that  and 
the  following  year  aided  in  acquiring  the  right  of  way  in  this  vicinity 
for  the  Utica  and  Syracuse  Railway  Company,  and  in  July,  1836,  he 
became  one  of  its  three  conductors,  acting  also  as  trackmaster  between 
Little  Falls  and  Utica  part  of  the  time.  From  1840  to  1847  he  had 
charge  of  the  western  department  of  the  road,  and  upon  the  consolida- 
tion of  the  several  roads  into  the  New  York  Central  in  1853,  he  was 
made  superintendent  of  the  Syracuse  and  Utica  division;  in  1867  his 
division  was  extended  to  Albany.  Thereafter  his  division  included  the 
Troy  and  Athens  branch.  He  enjoyed  the  confidence  of  President 
Erastus  Corning,  Commodore  Vanderbilt,  President  William  H.  Van- 
derbilt  and  his  son,  Cornelius  Vanderbilt,  and  other  executive  officers 
of  the  road  down  to  and  including  Hon.  Chauncey  M.  Depew.  Com- 
modore Vanderbilt  and  his  son  and  grandson  so  highly  appreciated  the 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  265 

general's  services  that  they  contributed  $500  every  six  months  extra 
compensation  in  each  year  down  to  and  including  the  year  of  his  death; 
the  last  $500  being  handed  over  to  the  executors  of  the  general's  es- 
tate, in  token  of  their  appreciation  of  his  faithful,  earnest  and  effectual 
services  to  the  road.  In  1835  1^^  was  appointed  major  in  a  Herkimer 
county  militia  regiment,  and  in  i860  he  was  promoted  to  the  rank  of 
brigadier  general.  When  the  war  broke  out  he  became  a  very  energetic 
war  Democrat,  and  by  voice  and  purse  and  numerous  efforts  aided  the 
Union  cause  like  the  consistent  patriot  that  he  was  during  the  whole 
struggle.  He  was  for  many  years  vice-  president  of  the  National  Herki- 
mer County  Bank,  and  subsequently  became  its  president,  which  office 
he  held  at  the  time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  December  4,  1887,  when 
in  his  eighty-first  year,  having  been  ill  only  a  week.  Having  been  in 
the  service  of  the  railroad  for  more  than  fifty  years,  he  was  familiar  with 
all  its  needs,  and  was  distinguished  by  being  pre-eminently  a  good 
railroad  man.  He  was  a  kind,  liberal  man,  using  his  best  judgment  to 
protect  the  interests  of  the  employees  of  the  road.  He  was  at  one  time 
president  of  the  village,  and  several  years  represented  his  town  in  the 
board  of  supervisors ;  was  a  presidential  elector,  and  well  deserved  and 
received  the  confidence  of  the  community  in  which  he  was  so  long 
an  active  and  valuable  citizen.  For  many  years  he  was  a  conspicuous 
Mason,  Knight  Templar,  and  his  funeral  was  conducted  by  that  order 
and  attended  by  President  Depew,  the  directors  and  superintendents  of 
the  New  York  Central  Railroad,  and  a  large  concourse  of  j>eople,  the 
services  being  conducted  in  the  Baptist  church,  to  which  he  was  many 
years  attached  and  to  which  he  was  a  very  liberal  contributor. 

The  late  Harry  Burreli  was  so  long  and  so  conspicuously  connected 
with  the  farming  and  dairy  interests  of  the  county,  that  a  proper  defer- 
ence to  those  industries  demands  a  record  of  his  life  and  business  career. 
He  was  born  in  Sheffield,  Mass.,  November  28,  1797,  and  was  a  son 
of  Jonathan  and  Lucinda  Burreli.  His  parents  moved  into  the 
town  of  Salisbury  in  the  year  1804.  Upon  the  death  of  his  father 
he  succeeded  to  the  possession  of  the  old  homestead  known  as  the 
Hackley  farm.  About  that  period  the  business  of  dairying  began 
to  attract  the  attention  of  the  farmers  of  Herkimer  county,  and  when 
he  was  about  twenty  years  of  age,  at  the  solicitation  of  his   neighbors, 

31 


266  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

he  took  charge  of  their  dairy  products,  which  were  drawn  to  Albany  on 
wagons  and  thence  transported  to  New  York  in  sloops.  He  early  com- 
menced the  purchase  of  cheese  and  other  dairy  products  for  the  New 
York  market,  and  soon  after  engaging  in  that  enterprise  became  the 
largest  buyer  in  the  country.  As  his  business  increased  he  established 
a  house  in  New  York  city  under  the  firm  name  of  H.  Burrell  &  Co.  His 
son,  Seymour  Burrell,  was  at  one  time  connected  with  him,  and  sub- 
sequently his  son,  David  H.,  became  a  purchaser  for  the  house.  At 
the  suggestion  of  Erastus  Corning  and  others  he  commenced  the  busi- 
ness of  exporting  cheese,  having  formed  reliable  connections  with  for- 
eign houses,  and  he  was  probably  the  first  shipper  of  dairy  products 
from  this  country  to  foreign  markets  ;  he  continued  a  buyer  on  a  large 
scale  and  shipper  until  near  the  close  of  his  life.  Mr.  Burrell  acquired 
a  high  reputation  for  integrity  and  sagacity  and  met  with  exceptional 
success.  At  the  time  of  his  death  he  was  the  owner  of  several  farms  in 
Salisbury  and  other  towns,  which  passed  by  virtue  of  his  will  to  his 
children,  who  still  continue  to  own  the  same.  In  1854  he  removed 
to  Little  Fails  where  he  built  a  handsome  residence  at  the  corner 
of  William  and  Main  streets,  which  he  occupied  until  the  time  of 
his  death,  and  the  same  now  remains  in  the  possession  of  his  widow, 
and  son  Edward  J.  Burrell.  His  sons,  David  H.  Burrell  and  Ed- 
ward J.  Burrell,  acquired  from  him  a  knowledge  of  the  business 
of  handling  dairy  products,  which  to  a  greater  or  less  extent  they 
have  continued  to  carry  forward  until  this  time;  Edward  J.  Burrell 
giving  especial  attention  to  that  branch  of  the  numerous  kinds  of 
business  carried  on  by  the  firm  of  D.  H,  Burrell  &  Co.  Harry  Bur- 
rell was  a  member  of  the  Presbyterian  Church  from  the  early  years 
of  his  life  until  the  time  of  his  death,  and  contributed  largely  to 
its  success  in  Salisbury  and  Little  Falls  ;  he  was  for  many  years  presi- 
dent of  its  board  of  trustees,  and  was  several  years  a  trustee  of  the  Lit- 
tle Falls  Academy.     He  died  at  Little  Falls  March  5,  1879. 

William  L  Skinner  was  born  in  'the  town  of  Little  Falls  on  the  24th 
of  October,  181 2,  and  was  the  son  of  Josiah  H.  Skinner,  who  came 
from  the  State  of  Connecticut  some  years  prior  thereto.  Mr.  Skinner 
was  elected  sheriff  of  the  county  in  1848,  having  prior  thereto  served 
several  times  as  a  deputy.      In  1859  he  was  elected  canal  commissioner 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  267 

and  served  until  1866,  acquitting  himself  creditably  in  the  office,  as  he 
had  practical  knowledge  of  the  affairs  of  the  canal,  had  many  years 
been  a  contractor,  and  was  able  to  deal  with  many  of  the  practical  ques- 
tions arising  in  respect  to  the  canals  which  came  under  the  review  of 
the  canal  commissioners.  He  was  president  of  the  village,  on  sev- 
eral occasions  was  elected  one  of  its  trustees,  and  at  one  time 
cliief  of  the  fire  department.  He  was  a  member  of  the  memorable 
committee  of  twelve  citizens  who  investigated  the  facts  relating  to  and 
recommended  the  construction  of  the  present  system  of  water  works. 
He  was  by  an  act  of  the  Legislature  named  as  one  of  the  Board  of 
Water  Commissioners,  was  elected  president  of  the  board,  and  his 
practical  judgment  and  industrious  attention  to  the  afifairs  of  the  system 
were  valuable  in  securing  the  proper  construction  of  the  works.  In 
1869  he  erected  the  Skinner  Opera  House  at  the  corner  of  Main  and 
Second  streets.  At  the  time  of  his  death  he  was  a  director  of  the 
National  Herkimer  County  Bank.  In  all  the  relations  of  life  he  exhib- 
ited strong  common  sense  and  good  practical  judgment;  he  formed 
correct  opinions  of  men  and  measures,  and  during  his  seventy-nine 
years  residence  in  Little  Falls  contributed  largely  to  its  prosperity. 
He  died  February  13,  1891,  leaving  three  sons  and  two  daughters  sur- 
viving him. 

Turning  again  to  the  newspapers  of  the  period  from  1840  to  the 
war  we  learn  of  other  events  and  changes  which  deserve  mention.  The 
winter  of  1842  witnessed  a  great  temperance  agitation  in  this  section 
and  fifteen  hundred  signed  the  pledge  in  Little  Falls.  Early  in  Febru- 
ary of  this  year  (1842)  occurred  a  very  destructive  freshet  which  on  the 
first  day  swept  away  a  dwelling  below  the  "  Railroad  Hotel,"  and  on 
the  following  day  carried  off  the  new  paper-mill  of  A.  Loomis,  and  the 
saw-mill,  axe  factory,  grist-mill  and  flouring-mill  were  greatly  dam- 
aged. On  the  south  side  the  barn  of  S.  W.  Shepard  was  carried  away 
and  the  stalls  for  hogs  at  the  distillery  were  inundated.  Colonel  Leigh's 
mills  and  the  iron  works  of  Shepard,  Babbitt  &  Co.  were  badly  dam- 
aged. William  Paige's  large  paper-mill  was  wrecked  in  the  lower  story. 
The  damage  amounted  to  about  $8,000  ;  and  in  June  of  the  same 
year  this  disaster  was  followed  by  another  of  similar  nature  in  which 
the  creek  through  the  village  caused  damage  to  the  amount  of  $15,000. 
These  losses  caused  much  depression  among  the  inhabitants. 


2Gg  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COtJNTt. 

In  1845  we  again  find  the  editor  expressing  congratulations  as  fol 
lows  :  "  The  constant,  rapid,  yet  sound  growth  of  our  village  must  be  a 
subject  of  high  gratification  to  its  citizens.  Our  prosperity  is  based 
upon  the  sure  foundation  of  capital,  labor  and  rational  enterprise. 
Fancy  stocks  have  never  been  in  demand  here."  He  wrote  further  of 
this  being  the  commercial  center  of  a  very  large  district  on  both  sides 
of  the  Mohawk,  with  great  thoroughfares  running  cast  and  west ;  its 
extensive  water  power,  etc.,  and  concluded  by  designating  Little  Falls 
as  "The  Lowell  of  the  Empire  State" — which  we  must  admit  was  de- 
cidedly bright. 

By  the  year  1850  the  debt  before  mentioned  had  become  a  decided 
bugbear  to  many  citizens,  and  its  payment,  with  other  charter  changes 
was  demanded.  The  newspaper  commented  freely  upon  the  folly  and 
burden  of  such  a  state  of  affairs,  spoke  of  the  former  small  debt  incurred 
mainly  for  the  fire  department,  and  deplored  the  fact  that  the  corpo- 
ration credit  had  become  depreciated  to  about  ninety  cents  on  the  dollar. 
These  conditions  led  to  prompt  and  radical  changes.  An  entire  new 
charter  was  adopted,  providing  for  raising  $5,300  on  village  bonds,  in- 
creasing the  annual  tax  to  $800  and  paying  off  the  debt  at  the  rate  of 
$500  annually  (as  before  described).  The  new  charter  was  a  great  im- 
provement on  the  former  ones,  and  most  of  its  important  provisions  are 
in  force  to-day.  It  being  on  record  in  numerous  places,  we  need  not 
quote  from  it  here.  Another  important  change  was  made,  which  in 
some  respects  seems  at  this  day  to  have  been  the  result  of  thoughtless 
folly,  although  many  good  citizens  advocated  it  at  the  time.  This  was 
the  changing  of  the  name  of  the  village  to  "  Rockton."  The  most  im- 
portant reason  advanced  for  the  change  was,  that  the  village  had 
become  of  sufficient  importance  to  have  a  name  of  its  own,  and  not 
longer  exist  under  the  title  of  the  whole  town.  The  name  was 
changed  ;  but  much  to  the  dissatisfaction  of  many  of  the  older  citizens, 
and  in  less  than  a  year  their  influence  was  such,  and  the  general  defer- 
ence to  their  wishes  so  pronounced,  that  the  old  name  was  restored. 

In  July  of  1850  a  terrible  flood  occurred  which  exceeded  that  of  1842. 
Buildings  were  inundated  by  the  overflowing  of  Furnace  Creek;  John 
Miller's  house  and  barn  were  swept  away,  with  the  dwelling  of  Joseph 
lioyer,  and  many  others  were  damaged.     The  loss  was  about  $15,000. 


f^c 


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tOWN  OP  LITTLE  FALLS.  26^ 

Meanwhile,  as  we  have  intimated,  the  business  interests  of  the  place 
increased  in  the  most  satisfactory  manner.  Plank  roads  had  been  built 
in  several  directions  from  the  village  between  1847  and  1851,  during 
which  period  almost  the  entire  State  was  covered  with  a  network  of 
those  useful,  but  short  lived  highways.  While  they  were  in  use,  at  a 
time  when  ordinary  roads  were  worse,  if  possible,  than  now,  they  gave 
the  farming  community  means  for  getting  their  produce  to  market  and 
were  certainly  instrumental  in  building  up  commercial  centers  like  Little 
Falls.  A  Hst  of  the  principal  business  houses  in  the  place  in  1850-51 
will  be  of  value  as  indicating  the  growth  of  the  village.  The  list  is  made 
up  from  the  advertising  in  the  newspapers,  and  probably  embraces  most 
of  the  principal  establishments  : 

S.  N.  Foote,  dry  goods  ;  H.  M.  Heath,  furnace  and  plows  ;  Mrs.  S. 
A.  Fox,  and  Miss  A.  J.  Swift,  milliners  ;  Jones  &  Hinds,  agents  for  rub- 
ber goods  ;  J.  C.  Kellogg,  dentist ;  Herkimer  County  Insurance  Com- 
pany; Reddy  &  Cunningham,  furnace;  Gordon  Stevenson,  cabinet 
maker;  B.  W.  Franklin,  dentist;  Henry  W.  Fox,  tailor  and  ready- 
made  clothing;  C.  P.  Hunt,  Little  Falls  drugstore;  A.  W.  Golden, 
cabinet  maker  in  the  green  store  ;  Harris  &  Houghton,  sash  and  blind 
factory  ;  F.  Adams,  bookseller  ;  Usher  &  Caswell,  flour,  etc.  ;  Cook  & 
Petrie,  hatters;  Pratt  &  Company,  boots  and  shoes;  Jones  &  Hine, 
tailors;  T.  Burch  &  Company,  stoves  and  general  merchants;  William 
Taylor,  clothing  and  tailor  ;  J.  C.  Clarke,  meat  market ;  J.  W.  Helmer, 
crockery,  etc.  ;  John  St.  John,  tailor ;  G.  B.  Young,  furniture  ;  W.  H. 
Cressy,  stoves  and  hardware  ;  Ford  &  Waterman,  John  H.  Wooster, 
Nolton  &  Lake,  Loomis  &  Griswold,  and  William  Brooks,  lawyers. 

In  1852  the  editor  of  the  local  paper  said  :  "  There  are  few  villages 
in  the  country  whose  streets  exhibit  a  busier  or  more  cheering  aspect 
than  this,"  and  followed  with  encouraging  comments  on  the  schools  of 
the  place,  its  churches,  etc.  The  fact  is,  the  village  enjoyed  a  good  de- 
gree of  growth  and  general  prosperity  between  1855  and  the  breaking 
out  of  the  war;  streets  were  opened  and  improved;  miles  of  sidewalks 
were  laid;  parks  were  improved;  the  academy,  incorporated  in  1844, 
was  in  full  and  successful  operation  ;  and  all  municipal  affairs  were 
prosperous.  In  i860  a  local  paper  said  that  in  no  time  in  a  number  of 
years  had  there  been  so  much  building,  repairing  and  general  activity. 


270  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

All  this  was,  of  course,  changed  by  the  opening  of  the  great  struggle 
for  the  preservation  of  the  Union.  This  event  paralyzed  action  in  re- 
gard to  public  improvements  throughout  the  country  and  turned  uni- 
versal attention  to  war  and  its  hundreds  of  related  activities.  The  chief 
occurrences  in  connection  with  the  war,  as  far  as  this  county  is  con- 
cerned, are  sufficiently  noted  in  the  earlier  pages  of  general  history.  It 
is  sufificient  for  the  present  purpose  to  say  that  Little  Falls  was  the  cen- 
ter of  military  activity  for  the  county  during  tiie  momentous  contest, 
and  that  her  leading  citizens  gave  freely  of  their  time  and  means  and 
energy  for  the  success  of  the  struggle. 

The  major  portion  of  the  history  of  the  village  since  the  war  is  em- 
bodied in  the  immediately  following  pages  devoted  to  the  various  insti- 
tutions and  industries  of  the  place  ;  and  it  only  remains  to  sketch  briefly 
the  more  important  acts  of  the  village  authorities.  Business  activity 
was  renewed  at  the  close  of  the  rebellion ;  money  was  plenty  and  the 
guarantees  of  peace  inspired  all  men  with  hopefulness  for  the  future.  A 
somewhat  disastrous  fire  occurred  in  July,  1866,  burning  the  Hinchman 
House  and  the  stores  of  seven  merchants,  and  other  buildings ;  the  loss 
was  about  $45,000.  On  the  following  Sunday  what  was  known  as  the 
Valley  House  was  burned.  These  fires  led  to  an  earlj-  reconstruction 
and  improvement  of  the  fire  department.  The  general  fund  of  the  vil- 
lage had  now  reached  about  $6,000,  and  the  population  of  the  town  was 
nearl)'  6,000.  In  February,  1871,  a  movement  was  made  to  organize 
the  State  Dairymen's  Association  and  Board  of  Trade;  the  organiza- 
tion was  effected  on  the  27tli  ;  Judge  George  A.  Hardin  presided  at 
and  addressed  the  meeting  held  for  the  purpose.  A  steam  fire  engine 
had  been  recently  purchased,  and  in  August  a  meeting  was  held  and 
measures  adopted  for  the  purchase  of  a  second  one,  which  was  accom- 
plished. The  Union  Free  School  system  was  adopted  in  the  fall  of  this 
year  (1873),  and  street  improvements  were  numerous  about  this  period. 
In  1 88 1  the  fire  alarm  was  introduced,  and  in  the  following  year  a  be- 
ginning was  made  upon  the  present  complete  sewer  system.  At  the 
same  time  the  stone  crusher  was  purchased,  to  be  followed  in  1892  by 
one  of  the  first-class  steam  road  rollers,  and  under  the  present  policy  the 
streets  are  being  rapidly  and  effectively  improved.  The  village  debt  at  the 
present  time  is  about  $330,000,  and   the   annual   general  tax  reaches 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  271 

the  sum  of  about  $40,000.  To  the  progressive  citizens  of  the  vil 
lage  these  figures  are  not  at  all  appalling,  for  they  realize  that  owing  to 
its  peculiar  physical  situation,  Little  Falls  improvements  are  necessarily 
costly.  They  also  realize  that  in  order  to  keep  in  the  front  rank  in  the 
march  of  human  progress,  money  as  well  as  energy  must  be  expended. 
Following  are  the  trustees  of  the  village  from  the  year  1828  to  the 
present  time  : 

1828,  Sanders  Lansing,  James  Sanders,  John  McMichael. 

1829,  Thomas  Smith,  A.  Loomis,  Gould  Wilson,  Moses  Drake,  N.  S.  Benton,  Alanson 
Ingham. 

1830,  Thomas  Smith,  N.  S.  Benton,  Gould  Wilson,  A.  Loomis,  John  McKenster, 
Richard  N.  Casler. 

1831,  N.  S.  Benton,  Moses  Drake,  William  I.  Pardee,  Wm.  Brooks,  Lester  Green. 
Hosea  Hani'lton. 

1832,  Parley  Eaton,  Je.sse  0.  Dann,  Elisha  P.  Ilurlbut,  Daniel  Mcintosh,  Wm.  J.  Par- 
dee, Christopher  Smith. 

1833,  Christopher  P.  Bellinger,  E.  P.  Hurlbut,  Parley  Eaton,  Henry  Heath,  Joram 
Petrie,  George  Petrie. 

1834:,  Gould  Wilson,  C.  P.  Bellinger,  Martin  W.  Priest,  Tliomas  Burch,  John  Bartow, 
John  Beardslee. 

1835,  \M.  W.  Priest,  Jesse  C.  Dann,  Thomas  Barob,  John  Beardslee,  Parley  Eaton, 
Richard  N.  Casler. 

183G,  M.  W.  Priest,  J.  C.  Dann,  Albert  G.  Story,  James  T.  Smith,  Flavins  J.  Little- 
john,  Robert  Casler. 

1837,  M.  W.  Priest,  James  T.  Smith,  Christopher  Smith,  Henry  Heath,  Frederick 
Lansing,  Jarvis  N.  Lake. 

1838,  Jarvis  N.  Lake,  James  T.  Smith,  Noah  Stark,  George  B.  Young,  James  N. 
Baker,  Nicholas  Moyer. 

1839,  M.  W.  Priest,  James  N.  Baker,  Horace  M.  Burch,  Lauren  Ford,  Frederick 
Lansing,  Amos  A.  Beardslee. 

1840,  R.  N.  Casler,  W.  Van  Driesen,  George  H.  Feeter,  Nelson  Rust,  Henry  W.  Fox, 
James  N.  Baker. 

1841,  Hiram  Nolton,  Nelson  Rust,  George  G.  Hall,  Frederick  Lansing.  Moses  Drake, 
Henry  Heath. 

1842,  Henry  Heath,  M.  W.  Priest,  George  B.  Young,  James  Sanders,  George  Heath, 
William  Paige. 

1843,  M.  W.  Priest,  R.  N.  Casler,  Zenas  A.  Hall,  William  I.  Skinner,  Edmund  G. 
Chapin,  James  T.  Smith. 

1844,  William  Usher,  William  Ingham,  J.  N.  Baker,  Peter  P.  Bellmger,  Jamas  Feeter, 
H.  Nolton. 

1845,  John  Beardslee,  William  Brooks,  jr.,  Rodney  Durkee,  Wm.  Ingham,  William 
Page,  jr.,  Peter  P.  E.  Bellinger. 


272  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

184'i,  William  P.  Hall,  Joseph  Boyer,  Wra.  Brooks,  jr.,  James  N.  Baker,  Michael 
Reddy,  Henry  Thompson. 

1847,  R.  N.  easier,  Seth  M.  Richmond,  Nelson  Rust,  Henry  Link,  Wm.  B.  Poughton, 
Henry  W.  Fox. 

1848,  Seth  M.  Richmond,  A.  G.  Rosecrantz,  J.  N.  Lake,  Henry  Thomp.ion,  Robert 
Stewart,  Nelson  Rust. 

1849,  A.  G.  Rosecrantz,  Samuel  S.  Whitman,  Michael  Moyer,  Deles  Lake,  G.  S. 
Young,  Wm.  B.  Houghton. 

1850,  Re-incorporation  of  the  village  under  name  of  Rockton  :  President,  George  H. 
Feeter ;  trustees,  Morris  E.  Fuller,  Peter  B.  Gilder.sleeve,  Henry  Link,  Leonard  Boyer, 
A.  G.  Rosecrantz,  Alvan  Richmond,  John  Bielby,  Henry  M.  Heath. 

1851,  Joram  Petrie  J.  N.  Lake,  Philo  Reed,  John  Feeter,  Michael  Boothroyd,  Michael 
Reddy,  James  N.    Baker,  Thomas  Dale. 

1852,  Asa  Wilcox,  J.  0.  Cunningham,  Lorenzo  D.  Waite,  Shadrach  Sherman,  AVm. 
Fowler,  Levi  Casler,  Joseph  K.  Chapman,  Thomas  Dale. 

1853,  Henry  Link,  Thomas  Scott,  Aaron  Carver,  H.  Thompson,  Henry  Heath,  Ben- 
jamin R.  Jones,  Robert  M.  McChesney,  Leonard  Boyer. 

1854,  W.  B.  Houghton,  J.  N.  Barber,  Joseph  H.  Hinds,  S.  M.  Richmond,  Nicholas 
Moyer,  A.  Rathbun,  Samuel  F.  Bennett,  Thaddeus  R.  Brooks. 

1855,  George  Heath,  John  Satterly,  Henry  Burwell,  Eben  B.  Waite,  Ezekiel  Heath, 
Wm.  M.  Dorr,  J.  W.  Helraer,  Alvan  Richmond. 

1856,  George  H.  Carver,  Elijah  Wilds,  B.  R.  Jone.s,  Enoch  R.  Nelson,  Shadrach  Sher- 
man (to  fill  vacancy).  From  this  date  only  four  trustees  were  elected  annnallj',  four  of 
the  former  board  holding  over. 

1857,  Wells  Sponable,  George  Heath,  John  Satterly,  John  W.  Belhnger. 

1858,  James  Bellinger,  jr.,  George  H.  Feeter,   Mason  S.  Van  Slyke,  Harry  Burrell. 

1859,  George  Ashley,  John  W.  Bellinger,  J.  N.  Baker,  Gideon  Tillinghast. 

1860,  Henry  T.  Holmes,  Sylvester  Levee,  Wm.  S.  Tucker,  S.  T.  Smith. 

1861,  Robert  Casler,  Philander  G.  Potter,  J.  N.  Casler,  James  Boyer. 

1862,  Wm.  M.  Briggs,  Thomas  Dale,  Warren  C.  Southworth,  Nicholas  Moyer. 

1863,  Sylvester  Levee,  Philander  G.  Potter,  C.  B.  Leigh,  Darwin  B.  Chase. 

1864,  Thomas  Dale,  Thomas  W.  Dundas,  Peter  A.  Conyne,  Wra  Briggs. 

1865,  Henry  Root,  George  F.  Angel,  Sylvester  Levee,  R.  D.  Casler. 

18G6,  Thomas  Dale,  John  W.  Bellinger,  Wm.  H.  Weeks,  Nathan  Basterbrook. 

1867,  Henry  M.  P.  Uhlee.  P.  G.  Potter,  Charles  Benedict,  T.  A.  Burnham. 

1868,  Levi  Bellinger,  Esick  Buchanan,  Amos  Rankin,  Patrick  Nolan. 

1869,  Wm.  M.  Briggs,  Henry  M.  P.  Uhlee,  Robert  Casler,  jr.,  RoUin  H.  Smith. 

1870,  Frederick  H.  Phillips,  Wm.  Nelson,  Timothy  Comboy,  Jonah  May. 

1871,  Wm.  M.  Brigg.s,  S.  B.  Casler,  James  W.  Cronkhite,  Wm.  Clark. 

1872,  Albert  Story,  Thomas  Dale,  C.  B.  Leigh,  James  T.  Smith. 

1873,  Peter  A.  Conyne,  John  P.  Harvey,  John  A.  Woolever,  Charles  Benedict, 

1874,  Victor  Adams,  1.  B.  Richmond,  Amos  Keller,  Thomas  Sheridan. 

1875,  Daniel  W.  Ladue,  Peter  A.  Staring,  Wm.  M.  Briggs,  Charles  W.  Nellis. 

1876,  Alonzo  0.  Casler,  Edward  S.  Middlebrook,  Andrew  Foley,  Jacob  Stacy. 

1877,  John  F.  Leahy,  D.  W.  Ladue,  James  Wiswell,  Amos  Rankins. 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  273 

1878,  Irving  E.  "Waters,  Henry  Link,  George  Keller,  Thomas  Sheridan. 

1879,  Amos  Rankins,  Silas  W.  Boyer,  D.  W,  Lailue,  John  McCauley. 

1880,  Joseph  W.  Baker,  Henry  E.  Piper,  Richard  Levee,  Jacob  Stacy. 

1881,  John  Canaman,  James  McDonald,  John  Chester,  R.  Walrath. 

1882,  Victor  Adams,  Albert  Story,  John  L.  Palmer,  \V.  R.  Chappie. 
r883,  Irving  E.  Waters,  Amos  Keller,  Peter  E.  Rankins,  John  0.  Leahy. 

1884,  Chas.  J.  Palmer,  W.  Shall,  W.  R.  Chappie,  Charles  Bailey,  Asa  Bowen. 

1885,  Charles  Benedict,  D.  J.  Mesick,  Peter  A.  Staring,  Lyman  Timmerman. 

1886,  Thomas  Bf^iley,  K  Gr.  Lower,  Thomas  McDermott.  L.  R.  Klock. 

]    1887,  Eraorj' J.  Diefendorf,  Warner  Edick,  Fred  M.  Kenyon,  L.  Timmerman. 

1888,  Thomas  McDermott,  Fred  H.  Gowen,  John  H.  Kane,  George  H.  Goetchiiis. 

1889,  Charles  N.  Le  Bart,  David  P.  Broaghton,  Frank  W.  Smith,  Halsey  W.  Warren. 

1890,  H.  G.  Babcock,  N.  0.  Casler,  John  H.  Kane,  Hiram  Sharp. 

1891,  Richard  Levee,  J.  S.  Newell,  Halsey  W.  Warren,  Herbert  B.  demons. 

1892,  William  Dale,  Squire  Bailey,  Kenyon  A.  Bushnell,  Sylvanns  J.  Waters,  jr. 

Following  is  a  list  of  the  presidents  of  the  village  of  Little  Falls  from 
1828  to  the  present  time: 

N.  S.  Benton,  1828;  John  Dygert,  1829-30;  Arphaxed  Looniis,  1831,  1833-36; 
Henry  P.  Alexander,  1834-3,5;  Jesse  C.  Dann,  183,";  Martin  W.  Priest,  1838-41, 
1844,1847,1862-60,1872-73;  Robert  Stewart,  1842;  George  B.  Young,  1843 ;  Fred- 
erick Lansing,  1845-46;  Richard  N.  Casler  (appointed  to  fill  vacancy),  1847 ;  Hiram 
Nolton,  1848;  George  H.  Feeter,  1849-50;  Nelson  Rust,  1851;  William  Brooks,  jr., 
1852;  Zenas  C.  Priest,  1853 ;  Henry  Link  (appointed  to  fill  vacancy),  1854;  Jarvis  N. 
Lake,  1854;  James  N.  Barber  (appointed  to  fill  vacancy),  1854-56;  Thomas  Burch, 
1855;  J.  W.  Helmer  (appointed  to  fill  vacancy),  1855;  James  Feeter,  1857;  Seth  M. 
Richmond,  1858-61 ;  Mount  M.  Abel,  1867  ;  John  P.  Sharer,  1868-71  ;  W.  A.  Staf- 
ford, 1874;  Watts  T.  Loomis  (appointed  to  fill  vacancy),  1874;  S.  Stewart  Lansing, 
1875-76;  Jonah  May,  1877;  Isaac  B.  Richmond,  1878-79;  Henry  Link,  1880;  Isaac 
B.  Richmond,  1881,  1883;  Kendrick  E.  Morgan,  1882;  J.  J.  Gilbert,  1384-85;  Joseph 
W.  Baker,  1886 ;  George  F.  Crumby  1887 ;  Isaac  B.  Richmond,  1888,  1890;  Charles 
L.  Petree,  1889;  Judson  J.  Gilbert,  1891 ;  1892,  Albert  Story. 

The  officers  of  the  village  for  1892  are  as  follow:  President,  Albert 
Story ;  treasurer,  Frank  B.  Wilcox ;  collector,  Calvin  Van  Alstine ; 
trustees,  "William  H.  Dale,  Squire  Bailey,  Sylvanus  J.  Waters,  jr.,  Ken- 
yon A.  Bushnell ;  clerk,  Wilbur  D.  Newell  ;  attorney,  H.  A.  De  Coster ; 
street  commissioner,  James  M.  Smith  ;  board  of  health,  John  R.  Taylor, 
Milton  Tryon,  Frank  W.  Smith. 

THE   CHURCHES   AND   SCHOOLS   OF   LITTLE   FALLS. 

Tlie  Octagon  Church. — This  historic  building  was  erected,  says  Mr. 
Benton's   history,  about   the   year    1796,  and  "  attracted   the  admiring 


276  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COtJNTlT. 

were  Abraham  Neeley  and  wife,  Daniel  Talcott  and  wife,  Mrs.  Henry 
Rartlett  and  Mrs.  James  Kennedy.  The  first  elders  of  the  church, 
chosen  May  i6,  1813,  were  Abraham  Neeley  and  Thomas  Smith.  In 
the  early  part  of  18 1 3  the  church  entered  into  ecclesiastical  connection 
with  the  Presbytery  of  Oneida,  and  so  remained  until  1842,  when  it 
transferred  its  connection  to  the  Presbytery  of  Albany.  In  the  re- 
construction of  synods  and  presbyteries  in  1870,  after  the  reunion,  this 
church  was  included  within  the  bounds  of  the  synod  of  Central  New 
York  by  act  of  the  General  Assembly,  and  by  act  of  synod  was  attached 
to  the  Presbytery  of  Utica,  with  which  it  has  since  been  connected. 
The  congregation  originallj'  worshiped  in  the  old  Octagon  church  be- 
fore described,  which  was  erected  about  1796.  In  1832  a  brick  church 
was  erected  on  the  corner  of  Ann  and  Albany  streets  (now  occupied  by 
D.  H.  Burrell  &  Co.).  This  building  served  the  congregation  for  nearly 
fifty  years,  and  was  several  times  remodeled  and  enlarged.  In  1879 
the  present  beautiful  and  and  costly  stone  edifice  was  completed.  It  is 
one  of  the  finest  church  structures  in  Central  New  York  and  cost  more 
than  $40,000. 

Tlie  Sabbath-school  was  probably  organized  soon  after  the  church  organization,  and 
Rev.  H.  N.  Woodruff  was  the  first  superintendent,  with  the  following  teachers:  Hon. 
N.  S.  Benton,  Ephraim  Garter,  Josiah  Pierson.  Mrs.  H.  N.  Woodruff,  Maria  John.son, 
Sarah  Lockwood,  and  Elizabeth  Carpenter.  The  following  per.^ons  have  served  as  su- 
perintendents of  the  school:  Rev.  H.  N.  Woodrufl",  William  Hammill,  Hosea  Hamil- 
ton, John  Dygert,  Rev.  T.  B.  Jervis,  Thomas  Burch,  William  Rossiter,  Jarvis  X.  Lake, 
J.  S.  Aldridge,  D.  H.  Burrell,  Amos  King,  Charles  King,  L.  Timmerman,  and  E.  J. 
Burrell. 

The  following  have  served  either  as  pastors  or  stated  supplies  of  the 
church : 

Rev.  James  Joyce,  1812-1813  ;  Rev.  Hezekiah  N.  Woodrufl;  1813-1822;  Rev.  Stephen 
W.  Burritt,  1822-1827;  Rev.  Jacob  Helffenstein,  1827-1828;  Rev.  David  M.  Smith, 
1828-1829;  Rev.  J.  Barton,  1830-1831;  Rev.  J.  H.  Martyn,  1831-1832;  Rev.  James 
F.  Warren,  1832-1833;  Rev.  James  I.  Ostrom,  1833-1835;  Rev.  Arthur  Burtis,  1836- 
1837  ;  Rev.  L.  P.  Blodgett,  1837-1839  ;  Rev.  A.  L.  Bloodgood,  1840-1841 ;  Rev.  J.  H. 
Mcllvaine.  1841-1843;  Rev.  A.  G.  Vermilye,  1845-1849;  Rev.  H.  W.  Morris,  1850- 
1860;  Rev.  M.  L.  P.  Hill,  1860-1868;  Rev.  W.  B.  Parraalee,  1869-1872;  Rev.  Walter 
Condit.  1873-1875  ;  Rev.  Arthur  Potts,  1875-1881 ;  Rev.  F.  A.  M.  Brown,  D.  D.,  1882- 
1887 ;  Rev.  C.  S.  Richardson,  1888. 

The  elders  of  the  church  are: 


Town  of  little  falls.  277 

J.  S.  Aldridge,  E.  D.  Evans,  Andrew  Van  Valkenburgh,  D.  H.  Burrell.  The  trustees 
are  W.  G.  Milligan,  president;  E.  J.  Burrell,  C.  L.  Petree,  L.  Carryl,  F.  L  Small,  J.  H. 
Ives,  A.  W.  Shepherd,  W.  T.  Loomis,  George  G.  Stebbins. 

Methodist  Episcopal  Church. — Methodism  in  the  M3hawk  valley  dates 
from  a  very  early  period,  certainly  previous  to  the  beginning  of  the 
present  century;  and  while  details  of  the  early  history  are  extremely 
meager,  we  know  that  Freeborn  Garretson  and  some  of  his  colaborers 
were  in  Schenectady  in  1789,  and  probably  preached  as  far  west  as 
Utica.  Starkville  in  this  county  had  a  class  between  1790  and  1795, 
and  Brockett's  Bridge  (Dolgeville)  had  one  about  1800.  Little  Falls 
was,  of  course,  visited  by  those  early  preachers.  William  Morrallee 
came  to  this  country  from  England  in  1801  and  preached  here,  and 
Bishop  Asbury  visited  Little  Falls  in  1807,  and  baptized  Mrs.  Phoebe 
Lewis,  a  daughter  of  Mr.  Morrallee.  A  legal  church  organization  was 
not,  however,  effected  until  November  19,  1832.  At  the  meeting  held 
for  that  purpose  in  the  old  stone  school- house,  Henry  Heath  presided 
and  E.  S.  Edgerton  was  secretary.  The  following  persons  were  elected 
the  first  trustees  :  Edmund  L.  Shepherd,  Gilbert  Robinson,  George 
Warcup,  E.  S.  Edgerton,  and  Henry  Heath.  Rev.  Darius  Simmons 
was  then  one  of  the  circuit  preachers,  and  eight  days  later  he  was  ap- 
pointed to  visit  Troy,  Albany  and  New  York  and  solicit  funds  with 
which  to  build  a  church.  He  probably  failed  in  his  purpose,  as  only 
$400  were  pledged  and  the  project  was  abandoned  until  1837.  Again, 
after  considerable  effort,  it  was  given  up  on  account  of  the  financial 
stress  of  that  time.  Finally,  in  1838,  through  the  efforts  of  Rev. 
Charles  L.  Dunning,  a  powerful  preacher  and  a  man  of  indomitable  will 
and  energy,  a  building  was  erected,  which  was  dedicated  September  28, 
1839.  Bishop  Hedding  preached  the  dedicatory  sermon.  The  mem- 
bership at  that  time  was  fifty- three.  Since  Mr.  Dunning's  pastorate 
the  following  have  served  the  church: 

Revs.  C.  W.  Leet,  Charles  L.  Dunning,  S.  Orvis,  B.  L  Diefendorf,  0.  C.  Cole,  C.  L. 
Dunning,  R.  B.  Stratton,  W.  L.  Tisdale,  M.  G.  Bullock,  J.  V.  Ferguson,  Aaron  Adams, 
I.  L  Hunt,  Benjamin  Phillips,  D.  Simons,  D.  M.  Rogers,  John  Loveys,  J.  D.  Adams,  J. 
L.  Humphrey,  W.  Jones,  J.  L.  Humphrey,  M.  R.  Webster,  James  Coote,  Samuel  Call, 
J.  B.  Hammond,  who  came  in  the  spring  of  1888. 

The  church  membership  is  now  about  500.  The  trustees  are  S. 
Newell,  Titus  Sheard,  William   Dale,  C.  T.   Pooler,   S.   Cross,  William 


280  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Revs.  J.  H.  Harter,  T.J.  Whitcomb,  engaged  in  Septeml)er.  1851 ;  J.  H.  Hobbs,  Sep- 
tember, 18.33;  George  W.  Skinner,  November,  1854;  B.  B.  Halleck,  June,  1857;  J.  R. 
Sage,  May,  1859;  0.  Cone,  1863;  A  Tibets,  December,  1865;  Lucius  Holmes,  Octo- 
ber, 1867;  George  P.  Hibbard,  June,  1871 ;  H.  D.  L.  Webster.  May,  1873  ;  H.  A.  Han- 
aford,  April,  1875;  E.  F.  Pember,  December,  1877;  Selden  S.  Gilbert,  closed  Septem- 
ber, 1884;  R.  E.  Sykes,  the  present  pastor,  came  in  April,  1885.  The  membership  is 
about  100.  Following  are  the  present  trustees:  Charles  Benedict,  George  S.  Ransom, 
Nelson  E.  Ransom,  John  P.  Harvey,  Addison  Eaton,  Oscar  Taylor. 

Si.  Mary's  Roman  Catholic  Church. — Previous  to  the  building  of  the 
Utica  and  Schenectady  Railroad  and  the  enlargement  of  the  Erie  Canal, 
Little  Falls  was  visited  by  various  Catholic  clergymen,  but  during  the 
improvements  mentioned  Rev.  Father  Burke  was  appointed  pastor  in 
this  place.  He  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  Father  Shanahan.  They  oc- 
cupied the  old  Octagon  church.  For  some  time  after  the  completion 
of  the  railroad  and  the  consequent  removal  of  many  Catholic  families, 
the  village  was  without  a  resident  pastor.  During  the  pastorate  of  Rev. 
Father  Stokes  over  St.  John's  church  in  Utica,  his  assistant,  Rev.  John 
Menomy,  a  young  clergyman,  was  appointed  by  the  bishop  as  pastor 
of  Herkimer,  Montgomery,  Fulton,  Otsego,  and  Schoharie  counties. 
He  purchased  a  lot  on  John  street  and  erected  the  first  Catholic  church 
of  Little  Falls.  It  was  a  comfortable-  frame  building  and  was  finished 
in  1847  and  dedicated  the  same  year  under  the  name  of  St.  Mary's 
church.  About  the  year  1S52  he  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  B.  F.  Mc- 
Loughlin,  who  built  the  brick  parsonage.  During  his  administration 
the  church  was  burned.  The  pastor  was  succeeded  in  June,  1867,  by 
Rev.  F"rancis  Von  Campenhoudt.  He  erected  the  brick  church  on  the 
corner  of  Alexander  and  Petrie  streets,  which  was  dedicated  in  1869 
by  Bishop  Lynch,  of  Charleston,  S.  C.  He  was  succeeded  in  1872 
by  Rev.  James  Ludden,  who  remained  more  than  ten  years  and 
was  succeeded  by  Rev.  A.  P.  Ludden,  the  present  pastor.  During  the 
first  Father  Ludden's  pastorate  the  church  building  was  condemned  as 
unsafe,  and  in  1874  the  new  stone  church  corner  of  John  street  and 
Eastern  avenue  was  begun  and  completed  in  1878.  In  1889  the  sub- 
stantial stone  school  building  was  erected,  and  in  1892  the  stone 
deanery  was  built.     The  property  is  now  very  valuable. 

German  Evangelical  Church. — In  the  year  1849  Rev.  P.  Herlan 
began  labor  here  for  the  establishment  of  a  church  of  this  faith,  which 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  281 

he  continued  about  two  years.  The  place  was  then  included  in  a  cir- 
cuit extending  from  Albany  to  Syracuse.  In  1852  Rev.  E  Greuzebach 
and  a  Mr.  Scharfe  came  to  the  charge,  and  in  1855  Rev.  L.  Herman 
came,  and  during  his  ministrations  the  church  was  built  on  Gansevoort 
street.  The  society  was  incorporated  January  29,  1857.  The  list  of 
pastors  cannot  be  given  complete,  in  the  absence  of  records. 

Schools. — In  foregoing  pages  the  stone  school -house  has  often  been 
mentioned.  It  is  said  that  Elijah  Case  taught  the  first  school  in  that 
historic  structure,  and  for  many  years  it  was  the  only  educational  in- 
stitution in  the  village.  Mr.  Case  called  his  scholars  to  study  by  blow- 
ing a  long  tin  horn.  There  was  little  advancement  in  the  schools  at 
Little  Falls  until  the  incorporation  of  the  academy  by  the  Regents  of 
the  University  of  this  State  October  17,  1844.  The  trustees  named  in 
the  charter  were  : 

Nathaniel  S.  Benton,  Frederick  Lansing,  William  0.  Grain,  Henry  Heath,  Harry 
Burrell,  Albert  G.  Story.  Thomas  Burch,  Solomon  Petrie,  Henry  Bysaman,  Arphaxed 
Loomis,  George  H.  Feeter,  David  Petrie,  Martm  W.  Priest,  Richard  N.  Casler,  Zenas 
C.  Priest,  Nathan  Brown,  Stephen  W.  Brown,  William   Ingham. 

The  citizens  of  the  village  contributed  liberally  to  a  fund  for  the 
erection  of  a  necessary  building  and  the  result  was  the  substantial  stone 
structure  which  has  so  long  served  its  purpose.  In  December,  1845, 
the  reported  value  of  the  academic  property  entire  was  $14,849.38. 
The  school  was  opened  by  Merritt  G.  McKoon,  A.  M.,  as  principal. 
He  was  succeeded  by  the  following : 

Daniel  Washburne,  1845;  Josiah  A.  Priest,  1848;  James  H.  Maguffin,  1849;  Philo 
S.  Casler,  1850 ;  Avery  Briggs,  1851  ;  Lawrence  Mercerreaux,  1854 ;  W.  H.  W^alker, 
1858;  Alonzo  Phelps,  1860;  John  Bell,  1861  ;  Levi  D.  Miller,  1863;  Hannibal  Smitli, 
1867;  D.  P.  Blackstone,  1869;  Eugene  E.  Sheldon,  1870;  W.  F.  Bridge,  1871. 

This  academy  subsequently  became  a  part  of  the  free  school  system 
of  the  village. 

A  resolution  was  adopted  on  the  14th  of  October,  1873  "That  a 
union  free  school,  with  an  academical  department,  be  established  in 
this  school  district,"  the  Board  of  Education  to  consist  of  six  trustees, 
two  of  whom  were  to  be  elected  annually.  The  existing  Little  Falls 
Academy  was  adopted  as  the  academical  department.  The  first  Board 
of  Education,  elected  October  15,  1873,  was:  Arphaxed  Loomis,  Jonah 


282  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

May,  Seth  M.  Richmond,  Charles  G.  Burke,  James  Hart,  James  W. 
Magill.  Arphaxed  Loomis  was  chosen  president,  and  James  Hart  sec- 
retary of  this  first  Board  of  Education.  The  school  was  divided  into 
primary,  intermediate,  preparatory  and  academic  departments. 

On  the  2d  of  September,  1879,  the  graded  school  system  was 
adopted,  and  under  the  law  of  that  year  W.  S.  Hall  was  appointed  the 
first  superintendent  of  schools.  The  schools  were  then  divided  into  the 
Eastern,  Western,  and  Southern  Divisions,  the  academical  department 
being  continued  in  the  academy  building  in  the  Eastern  Division. 
The  schools  are  under  the  supervision  of  the  Regents  of  the  University 
of  the  State,  and  the  course  of  study  conforms  to  the  requirements  of 
that  body.  Pupils  are  not  admitted  to  the  academical  department  upon 
examinations  by  the  teachers,  but  upon  the  fact  of  the  applicant  hold- 
ing a  regent's  preliminary  certificate,  obtained  upon  a  regent's  exam- 
ination. On  completion  of  the  course  of  study  and  satisfactory  exam- 
ination a  graduating  diploma  is  awarded. 

In  1884  a  new  brick  school-house  was  erected  for  the  Southern  Di- 
vision, on  the  south  side  of  the  Mohawk,  at  a  cost  of  $12,000,  and  in 
1889  a  new  brick  school  building  was  built  on  the  site  of  the  old  struct- 
ure, corner  of  Prospect  and  Church  streets,  at  a  cost  of  $22,000. 
This  latter  building  is  a  model  one  in  its  heating  and  ventilating  sys- 
tem and  interior  arrangement. 

The  present  Board  of  Education  is  composed  of  the  following  per- 
sons: 

Rollin""J-I.  Smith,  president ;  Alonzo  H.  Green,  secretary  ;  William  R.  Chappie, 
Horace  A.  Tozer,  John  Chester,  Ivan  T.  Burney ;  superintendent  of  schools,  Thomas 
A.  Caswell. 

Academical  Department.  Marcelhis  Oakey,  principal  ;  Miss  Mary  L.  Mills,  precep- 
tress;  Miss  Mary  E.  Vaughn,  as,sistant. 

Eastern  Division,  Miss  Adelaide  A.  Appley,  Miss  Ennly  A.  Oyston,  Miss  Minnie 
Evans,  Miss  Maggie  D.  Ferguson,  Miss  Mildred  B.  VanAlstine,  Miss  Anna  P.  Hutchins. 

Western  Division,  J.  K.  Abrams,  principal ;  Miss  Helena  J.  Ballard,  Miss  Julia  S. 
Beach,  Miss  Mary  E.  Van  Deusen,  Miss  Bertha  I.  Hagedorn,  Miss  Ella  M.  Lewi.s,  Miss 
B  la  R.  Groom,  Miss  Cora  M.  Sharp,  Miss  Maggie  E.  Walcott. 

Southern  Division,  J.  F.  Steward,  principal;  Miss  Gertrude  Brown,  Miss  Lucy  H. 
Clancy,  Miss  Lora  Houpt. 

The  Press  of  Little  Falls. — The  first  newspaper  in  Little  Falls  was 
called  the  People's  Friend,  a  Democratic  paper,  started  by  Edward  M. 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  PALLS.  283 

Griffing  in  September,  1821.  After  about  ten  years  of  existence  sev- 
eral leading  Democrats  of  the  village  purchased  the  establishment  to 
prevent  a  forced  sale  and  discontinuance  of  the  paper.  Its  name  was 
then  changed  to  the  Mohatvk  Courier',  and  its  publication  continued  by 
Charles  S.  Benton  &  Co.;  from  them  it  passed  to  Josiah  A.  Noonan, 
who  sold  it  to  Horatio  N.  Johnson.  He  transferred  it  to  Elias  G. 
Palmer,  but  subsequently  bought  it  back,  and  associated  with  himself 
Allen  W.  Eaton.  In  1856  Mr  Eaton  purchased  his  partner's  interest 
in  the  establishment,  and  the  paper  became  the  county  organ  of  the 
then  young  Republican  party,  Mr.  Eaton  acting  as  editor.  In  March, 
1861,  Mr.  Eaton  sold  the  paper  to  William  Ayer  and  T.  S.  Brigham, 
who  conducted  it  until  January  i,  1864,  when  it  was  purchased  by 
Jean  R.  Stebbins,  then  proprietor  of  the  Journal,  and  the  two  papers 
were  consolidated  under  the  name  of  the  Journal  and  Courier. 

The  history  of  the  Journal  down  to  its  consolidation  with  the  Courier 
begins  in  1849,  when  the  Herkimer  County  Journal  was  removed  to 
Little  Falls  from  Herkimer  by  Orlando  Squires.  In  1858  X.  A. 
Willard  assumed  editorial  control  of  the  paper,  as  far  as  its  political  and 
literary  features  were  concerned,  and  Daniel  Ayer  conducted  the  local 
columns  and  the  business  management.  Mr.  Willard  continued  as  editor 
about  two  years.  Mr.  Ayer  injured  his  health  by  arduous  labor  and 
died  January  i,  1861.  On  the  i8th  of  the  same  month  the  establish- 
ment was  purchased  of  Mr.  Ayer's  widow  by  Jean  R.  Stebbins,  who 
continued  as  its  proprietor  until  the  consolidation  above  described. 

In  September,  1866,  George  G  Stebbins  purchased  an  interest  in  the 
Journal  and  Courier,  2Lnd  from  that  time  until  May,  1883,  the  paper 
was  conducted  and  edited  under  the  firm  name  of  J.  R.  &  Gr  G.  Steb- 
bins. On  the  date  last  named  Ivan  T.  Burney  was  admitted  to 
the  firm  and  the  business  continued  under  the  firm  name  of  Stebbins  & 
Co.  until  November  i,  1886,  when  J.  R  Stebbins  sold  his  interest  to  his 
partners,  after  a  continuous  connection  with  the  paper  of  more  than 
twenty-five  years.  Mr.  Stebbins  was  a  forcible  and  vigorous  writer, 
especially  on  political  subjects,  and  in  the  broad  field  of  Republican 
politics  his  journal  exerted  a  wide  and  powerful  influence.  Its  circula- 
tion was  extended  and  its  character  and  prosperity  built  up  under  his 
able  administration.     Soon   after  the  disposing  of    his  interest   to   his 


284  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

partners,  Mr.  Stebbins  removed  to  Watertown,  N.  Y.,  to  assume  the  du- 
ties of  president  of  the  Agricultural  Insurance  Company  of  that  city. 
The  Journal  and  Courier  since  then  has  been  ably  couducted  by  Steb- 
bins &  Burney. 

The  Herkimer  County  Neius  was  started  in  Mohawk  as  an  independ- 
ent paper  in  1868  by  Williams  &  Perkins.  In  the  fall  of  1 870,  at  the 
solicitation  of  many  Democrats  in  Little  Falls,  the  News  was  removed 
to  this  village.  In  the  spring  of  1871  it  was  transferred  to  L.  W. 
Flagg,  and  in  August  of  the  same  year  was  purchased  by  T;  M  Chap- 
man, of  Canandaigua,  N.  Y.,  and  W.  R.  Chappie,  of  Cleveland,  O., 
under  the  firm  name  of  Chapman  &  Chappie.  The  establishment  was 
enlarged  and  the  paper  given  a  new  impetus.  In  September,  1874,  Mr. 
Chapman  sold  his  interest  to  H.  A.  Tozer  (Chaf«»afi  &  Tozer).  In  De- 
cember, 1877,  failing  health  impelled  Mr.  Tozer  to  retire,  and  since  that 
time  the  paper  has  been  ably  conducted  on  Democratic  lines  by  Mr. 
Chappie. 

The  Little  Falls  Evening  Times  is  the  only  daily  newspaper  pub- 
lished in  Herkimer  county.  It  was  founded  May  10,  1876,  by  the  Co- 
operative Printing  Company,  composed  of  Robert  Currie,  Thomas  and 
G.  H.  Highland,  J.  R.  McGuire,  and  Henry  Langdon.  The  type  and 
other  materials  were  purchased  of  C.  A.  Tucker,  who  had  previously 
published  the  Mohaivk  Independent.  John  F.  Devlin  was  the  first 
editor  of  the  new  daily.  In  November,  1886,  the  establishment  was 
sold  to  a  syndicate  and  E  W.  Pavey  was  appointed  editor.  Mr.  Pavey 
continued  in  the  editorial  chair  about  one  year,  and  was  succeeded  by 
John  M.  Lee  as  editor  and  manager.  Mr.  Lee  held  the  position  until 
August,  1889,  when  Jay  E.  Klock,  of  Albany,  purchased  an  interest  in 
the  paper  and  became  editor  and  manager.  Mr.  Klock  retired  June 
15,  1 89 1,  to  become  editor  of  the  Kingston  (N.  Y.)  Freeman.  He  was 
succeeded  on  the  Times  by  John  Crowley,  jr.  Mr.  Crowley  purchased 
the  interest  of  his  partners  in  July,  1892,  and  is  now  editor  and  sole 
proprietor.  The  Times  is  independent  in  politics,  and  a  bright  and  ably 
conducted  paper. 

The  death-roll  of  newspapers  in  Herkimer  county  is  a  long  one,  as 
it  is  in  all  other  districts  where  numerous  journals  have  been  started  by 
ambitious  publishers  and  editors.  The  brief  careers  of  many  of  these 
wrecks  are  noted  in  the  history  of  other  towns  in  this  volume. 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  28o 

The  Republican  Farmer's  Free  Press  was  removed  to  Little  Falls  from 
Herkimer  (see  history  of  Herkimer)  and  its  name  changed  to  the  Her- 
kimer County  Whig.  It  was  published  by  Larned  W.  Smith,  and  died 
young. 

In  1839  Edward  M.  Griffing  established  The  Enterprise  and  con- 
tinued its  publication  about  two  years.  He  then  started  the  Mohazvk 
Mirror,  a  semi-monthly  paper,  which  expired  in  1844 

The  Herkimer  Freeman  was  started  in  Little  Falls  by  O.  A.  Bowe, 
about  1844,  after  he  had  left  the  Herkimer  County  Journal,  at  Herki- 
mer.    The  Freeman  was  an  abolition  organ  and  lived  about  six  years. 

The  Catholic  Telegraph  was  first  issued  at  Little  Falls  June  8,  1878. 
It  was  edited  by  Rev.  James  M.  Ludden  and  M.  J.  Ludden.  In  Janu- 
ary, 1 88 1,  the  paper  was  removed  to  Albany  and  was  discontinued  a 
few  years  later. 

T\\&  Dairyman  s  Record,  &  semi-monthly,  was  started  February  15, 
1859,  by  A.  W.  Eaton.  In  May,  i860,  its  name  was  changed  to  the 
Dairy  Farmer  and  issued  monthly.  In  April,  1861,  Mr.  Eaton  sold 
the  paper  to  Ayer  &  Brigham,  and  it  was  discontinued  about  a  year 
later. 

Water  Works. — Little  Falls  had  little  water  supply  in  which  it  could 
reasonably  feel  pride  until  very  recent  years.  With  pipes  in  some  of 
the  streets  and  indifferent  sources  to  rely  upon,  the  village  for  many 
years  seriouslj'  felt  the  need  of  a  better  supply  of  water  for  domestic 
and  fire  extinguishing  purposes.  The  reason  given  for  this  state  of 
affairs  was  chiefly  the  apparently  insurmountable  engineering  difficulties 
to  be  encountered  in  the  construction  of  new  works,  with  the.attendant 
expense.  For  several  years  previous  to  1885  the  subject  of  a  better 
water  supply  had  been  agitated,  and  finally  on  tlie  2ist  of  May,  18S5, 
the  trustees  appointed  a  committee  of  twelve  prominent  citizens  to  act 
with  them  in  investigating  the  subject.  The  members  of  the  com- 
mittee were  Hon.  George  A.  Hardin,  chairman  ;  Michael  Reddy, 
Titus  Sheard,  J.  D.  Feeter,  R.  Walrath,  D.  H.  Burrell,  S.  M.  Richmond, 
Lorenzo  Carryl,  Watts  T.  Loomis,  Z.  C.  Priest,  William  I.  Skinner,  and 
J.  R.  Stebbins.  This  committee  visited  and  inspected  all  the  practi- 
cable sources  of  supply  and  procured  analyses  of  the  waters.  The  result 
of  these  investigations    was  the   selection  of  Beaver  Brook   as  the   best 


286  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

and  most  available  source.  The  committee  reported  unanimously  in 
favor  of  the  corporation  owning  the  works  and  on  the  source  selected. 

On  the  3d  of  July,  1885,  the  Board  of  Trustees  organized  themselves 
into  a  Board  of  Water  Commissioners  as  follows  :  J.  J.  Gilbert,  presi- 
dent;  C.  J.  Palmer,  secretary;  Lyman  Timmerman,  treasurer;  Victor 
Adams,  W.  R.  Chappie,  Charles  Benedict,  George  W.  Shall,  Charles 
Bailey,  D.  J.  Mesick,  commissioners.  This  board  was  temporary  and 
to  be  succeeded  by  a  permanent  one  when  the  necessarj'  legislation 
should  have  been  procured. 

An  election  was  ordered  for  August  20,  1885,  to  decide  whether  the 
village  was  in  favor  of  adopting  the  plans  of  the  committee,  at  which 
429  tax  payers  voted  in  favor  and  iio  against  the  plans;  and  864 
electors  voted  in  favor  and  141  against.  Upon  the  announcement  of 
this  result  a  popular  jubilee  was  held  at  which  the  inhabitants  gener- 
ally expressed  their  satisfaction  after  the  customary  American  pro- 
gramme. October  6,  188.5,  the  commissioners  secured  the  services  of 
Stephen  E.  Babcock,  civil  engineer,  of  Troy,  N.  Y.,  and  a  contract  was 
made  with  him  to  superintend  the  construction  of  the  proposed  works 
at  a  salary  of  $3,000  per  annum.  Mr.  Babcock  and  his  assistants  com- 
pleted the  surveys  of  the  entire  system  by  December  25,  1885.  An 
act  was  then  prepared  to  transfer  the  duties  of  the  water  commissioners 
of  the  village  to  a  Board  of  Water  Commissioners,  whicli  became  a  law 
on  the  1 1  th  of  February,  1886.  Under  this  act  the  following  commis- 
sioners were  chosen  :  Watts  T.  Loomis,  five  years  ;  William  I.  Skin- 
ner, four  years;  Charles  J.  Palmer,  three  years;  David  H.  Burrell,  two 
years  ;  all  dating  from  January  i,  1886.  An  act  to  authorize  the  issue 
of  $250,000  in  bonds  was  passed  March  8,  1886.  Sealed  proposals 
were  received  up  to  May,  1886,  for  constructing  the  Beaver  Creek 
conduit,  eight  miles  long,  dam  and  inlet  chamber ;  for  the  construc- 
tion of  a  distribution  reservoir  and  about  one  mile  of  open  canals; 
for  trenches  and  laying  the  system  of  distribution  complete,  about 
sixteen  miles  ;  and  for  the  valves  and  hydrants  complete.  All  of  these 
contracts  were  successfully  let  to  responsible  persons.  The  reservoir 
and  conduit  were  brought  into  use  July  15,  1887;  the  distribution 
reservoir  was  not  fully  completed  until  October,  1888;  but  the  pipe 
lines    were    so    arranged  temporarily  that    water    was    delivered    after 


I 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  287 

October  28,  1886.  An  additional  feed  pipe  line  was  subsequently 
constructed  to  connect  at  William  street  at  a  cost  of  $15,000,  in  order 
to  prevent  the  possibility  of  ever  being  without  water  for  a  day  or  two 
through  the  breakage  of  the  original  line.  For  the  completion  of  the 
great  work  an  act  was  passed  April  18,  1887,  authorizing  the  raising  of 
a  further  sum  of  $25,000.  This  sum  was  still  found  inadequate,  and  on 
the  8th  of  May,  1888,  an  act  was  passed  authorizing  the  issue  of  bonds 
to  the  further  amount  of  $30,000,  making  in  all  $305,000.  The  cost 
of  the  works  averaged  $11,115  P^""  rnile,  which  was  lower  than  the 
average  cost  of  water  works  in  cities  and  villages  throughout  the 
country.  The  commissioners  and  the  citizens'  committee  estimated 
that  the  sum  of  $21,500  per  annum  would  have  to  be  realized  for  the 
maintenance  of  the  works  and  meeting  the  assumed  obligations,  as 
follows:  Fixed  charges  of  interest,  $10,000;  cost  of  maintenance, 
$5,500;  for  sinking  fund,  $6,000.  A  system  of  rates  was  established 
in  accordance  with  this  estimate,  charging  $5  each  for  ordinary  stores 
and  dwellings. 

No  public  improvement  can  be  conceived  that  would  confer  a  greater 
benefit  upon  Little  Falls  than  has  this  system  of  water  works,  and  while 
it  has  created  a  considerable  debt,  the  burden  is  generally  cheerfully 
assumed.  The  present  commissioners  are  :  Chas.  J.  Palmer,  president ; 
Hadley  Jones,  secretary;   Rollin  H.  Smith,  Rugene  Walrath. 

The  Fire  Department. — The  early  action  of  the  village  toward  pro- 
viding for  the  extinguishment  of  fires  has  been  noticed.  The  first 
company  "  No.  I  "  was  organized  in  1808  by  Captain  Solomon  Lock- 
wood,  and  in  181 1  the  following  persons  were  members  of  this  company: 

Solomon  Lockwood,  captain  ;  Rufiis  Sawyer,  Amos  Parkhurst.  Josiah  Hazen,  Isaac 
Stevenson,  Felix  Dutoher,  Josiah  Perry,  Thomas  Battle,  Benjamin  Carr,  Thomas  Gould, 
Henry  Frey,  Benjamin  Bowen,  John  O.  Mclntyre,  Matthias  B.  Bellows,  Thomas  Smith, 
William  Girvan,  Brayton  Buckland,  John  Protheroe,  John  Phillips,  Washington  Brit- 
ton,  George  W.  Angel,  Charles  Hinkley,  Wiliiam  T.  Dodge,  Henry  Holmes,  James 
Beattie,  George  Plato.  The  engine  liouse  then  stood  a  little  west  of  the  Girvan  Hou-se 
site. 

The  organization  of  Protection  Fire  Company  No.  2  took  place  June 
19.  1835,  and  its  headquarters  were  on  the  north  side  of  German  street. 
The  first  engine  was  a  "  goose-neck  "  hand  machine,  and  later  a  Button 
steamer.     Cascade  Fire  Company  No.    i    was   organized  October   11, 


288  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

1853,   and    reorganized    November    29,  1873.     The   original    members 
were  as  follows : 

Henry  P.  Alexander,  Horace  M.  Burch,  James  Feeter,  William  Usher,  James  R 
Fisher,  Stephen  Farnhain,  Hiram  McChesney,  William  T.  Wheeler,  William  Beattit-, 
Henry  Wiegand,  James  Strossman,  William  Ellison,  William  H.  Anable,  George  Ash- 
ley, John  Shaunberg,  James  Roe,  S.  J.  Galpin,  Nelson  Rust,  John  Feeter,  A.  Rathbun, 
M.  E.  Fuller,  William  H.  Cressey,  Joseph  Boyer,  jr,  James  G.  Reals,  James  Churchill, 
James  Levee,  William  Ingham,  William  Genett  and  S.  Sherman. 

General  Herkimer  Company  No.  3  was  organized  Jul}'  3,  1857,  with 
the  following  officers : 

J.  Satterlee,  foreman  ;  J.  B.  Eysaman,  first  assistant ;  J.  Yosburgh,  second  assistant : 
H.  Fralick,  secretary;  P.  G.  Potts,  treasurer. 

The  fire  department,  as  it  exists  at  the  present  time,  was  organized 
under  special  act  of  the  Legislature  May  i,  1886,  which  authorized  a 
commission  to  take  control  of  both  the  fire  and  the  police  departments. 
The  property  of  the  fire  department  consisted  of  three  steam  fire  engines, 
one  hook  and  ladder  truck  and  appurtenances,  and  one  chemical  engine. 
These  continued  in  use  until  1888,  when  the  construction  of  the  present 
water  works  rendered  the  engines  almost  wholly  unnecessary.  The 
companies  which  had  been  connected  with  the  steamers  were  reorgan- 
ized into  hose  companies,  while  the  hook  and  ladder  and  chemical  com- 
panies remained  as  they  were. 

Previous  to  the  construction  of  the  water  works  each  company  con- 
sisted of  a  maximum  of  sixty  men.  This  number  is  still  retained  in  the 
hook  and  ladder  and  the  chemical  companies,  while  the  maximum  of 
the  hose  companies  was  reduced  to  thirty  men  each.  There  is  a  chief 
engineer  and  first  and  second  assistant  engineers,  all  subject  to  the  con- 
trol of  the  Board  of  Fire  and  Police  Commissioners.  The  first  board  was 
composed  as  follows : 

S.  M.  Van  Alstine,  chairman :  S.  W.  Petrie,  M.  G.  Bronner,  J.  P.  Sharer ;  W.  S. 
Shepard,  clerk.  The  present  board  is:  M.  G.  Bronner,  chairman;  D.  F.  Herlehey,  F. 
Senior,  J.  S  Barnet. 

The  cost  to  the  village  of  the  fire  department  is  $4,000  annually. 
An  electric  fire  alarm  is  in  use,  comprising  twenty  alarm  boxes  placed 
at  as  many  proper  points.  The  alarm  is  sounded  by  a  steam  whistle  in 
the  electric  light  works,  opposite  the  New  York  Central  depot. 


"TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  .  289 

Police  Department. — Prior  to  the  organization  of  the  Board  of  Police 
and  Fire  Commissioners,  as  above  described,  the  poHce  department 
was  controlled  by  the  village  trustees,  and  changed  with  almost  every 
change  of  administration.  The  creation  of  the  Board  of  Commissioners 
corrected  this  evil  and  gave  to  the  department  much  greater  efificiency. 
The  police  force  now  consists  of  six  officers  including  the  chief  and  as- 
sistant cliief.  The  present  chief  of  police  is  Earl  W.  Harris,  with 
Daniel  O'Brien  assistant  chief  The  cost  of  the  department  is  $4,000 
annually. 

Streets  and  Sewers. — The  control  of  the  streets  and  sewers  of  the 
village  is  vested  in  the  Board  of  Trustees,  through  a  street  commis- 
sioner. Marked  improvements  have  been  inuagurated  in  this  de- 
partment in  recent  years.  In  1882  a  steam  stone  crusher  was  purchased 
and  broken  stone  was  thenceforth  used  to  a  considerable  extent  in  im- 
proving the  roadways.  In  June,  1892,  a  Springfield  steam  roller  was 
secured,  and  a  beginning  has  been  made  upon  a  system  of  macadamiz- 
ing which  it  is  intended  shall  cover  all  the  streets  of  the  village. 

The  natural  drainage  of  Little  Falls  is  exceptionally  good  and  sewer 
construction  was  not  begun  until  1882.  Since  that  date  about  fifteen 
miles  of  sewerage  have  been  constructed  in  the  principal  streets. 

Street  Lighting. — The  first  gas  for  illumination  made  in  Little  Falls 
was  by  the  Little  Falls  Woolen  Company  and  the  Saxony  Woolen 
Company,  who  built  a  plant  and  made  gas  from  rosin  with  which  to 
light  their  own  factories.  This  gas  plant  was  purchased  by  John  W. 
and  S.  B.  Stitt  and  A.  G.  Story,  and  in  1853  pipes  were  laid  by  them 
in  the  principal  streets  of  the  village  and  the  gas  supplied  to  consumers. 
In  1863  the  works  were  enlarged  and  the  manufacture  of  coal  gas  was 
begun.  In  1869  the  Little  Falls  Gaslight  Company  was  formed  under 
the  general  State  law  with  a  capital  of  $25,000. 

The  directors  were  G.  A.  Hardin,  S.  M.  Richmond,  W.  G.  Milligan,  W.  M.  Dorr, 
Lorenzo  Carry),  J.  J.  Gilbert,  James  Feeter,  W.  T.  Wheeler,  and  J.  R.  Stebbius. 

In  1886  a  new  Board  of  Directors  consisting  of  William  Henry 
White,  V.  S.  Watrous  and  M.  J.  Leyden,  was  elected ;  William  Henry 
White,  president.  The  capital  stock  was  increased  to  $50,000.  A 
modern  system  of  retorts  with  a  capacity  of  20,000,000  cubic  feet 
annually,  a  large  telescopic  holder,  and  some  five  miles  of  new  street 
37 


290  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

mains  were  added  to  the  plant ;  public  lamps  were  placed  on  all  the 
thoroughfares  of  the  village.  In  the  same  year  electricity  was  also  sup- 
plied for  lighting  purposes.  The  present  price  of  gas  is  based  upon  a 
sliding  scale  regulated  by  the  volume  used,  so  that  the  net  rates  range 
from  $1.75  to  $2.25  per  thousand  cubic  feet. 

Little  Falls  Electric  Light  and  Pozver  Co. — This  company  was  or- 
ganized February  29,  1892,  with  the  following  officers  : 

Watts T.  Loorais,  president ;  Elijah  Reed,  vice-president;  William  F.  Lansing,  sec- 
retary, treasurer,  and  manager;  directors,  Watts  T.  Loomis,  William  F.  Lansing,  Nel- 
son R.  Gilbert,  Elijah  Reed,  James  H.  Ives. 

The  capital  stock  is  $30,000,  which  is  paid  up.  The  Thompson- 
Houston  direct  current  system  and  the  alternating  incandescent 
system  are  in  use.  The  steam  power  employed  is*  350  horse  power, 
and  more  than  lOO  two-thousand-candle  power  arcs  and  about  500 
sixteen-candle  power  incandescent  lights  are  in  use,  and  the  number  is 
rapidly  increasing. 

Herkimer  County  Batik  (now  National  Herkimer  County  Bank). — 
This  is  the  first  regularly  organized  banking  institution  in  Little  Falls, 
though  the  oldest  citizens  remember  what  was  called  the  Aqueduct 
Association  which  was  in  existence  in  1806,  and  issued  scrip  for  the 
accommodation  of  the  business  operations  of  that  period.  The  Herki- 
mer County  Bank  as  a  safety  fund  bank  was  incorporated  on  the  14th 
of  March,  1833,  with  a  capital  stock  of  $200,000  and  began  business 
in  August  of  the  same  year,  with  the  following  named  directors  : 

N.  S.  Benton,  Standish  Barry,  S.  W.  Brown,  Dudley  Burwell,  A.  Loomis,  F.  Lansing, 
P.  F.  Bellinger,  F.  B.  Spinner,  Benjamin  Carver,  David  Petrie,  H.  P.  Alexander,  John 
Stillwell,  and  Abijah  Mann,  jr.,  with  Standish  Barry  as  president  and  Watts  Sherman  as 
cashier. 

At  the  expiration  of  its  charter  in  1863,  the  institution  was  reorgan- 
ized as  an  associate  bank  under  the  law  of  1838,  with  the  same  amount 
of  capital. 

Tlie  directors  were  H.  P.  Alexander,  V.  S.  Kenyon,  A.  Loomis,  Hiram  Nolion,  Wm. 
Ingham,  G.  N.  Willard,  Z.  C.  Priest,  James  Feeter,  and  A.  G.  Story,  with  H.  P.  Alex- 
ander as  president,  and  A.  G.  Story,  cashier. 

In  1865  the  bank  was  converted  into  the  Herkimer  County  National 
Bank  of  Little  Falls,  with  the  same  amount  of  capital  as  before. 


■2011  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

mains  were  added  to  the  plant ;  pub:  re  placed   on 


-;ik!: 

b\-   tllr    \ 

froii 

Der  thousa 

Li:.:.  ;-u.7. 

QZ\\\7.fd.  Febrii  , 

\\ 

rct-H: 

son  R.  GiUjerL,  KlijaU  lU 

The  capital  stock    _ 
Houston    direct    current 
system  are  in  use.     t'''- 
and  more  than    lOO 
sixteen-candle  power 
rapidly  increasing. 

Herkimer  County  Haitic  (nc 
This  is  the  first  regularly  organ- 
though   the   oldest   citizens   ren 
Association  which  was  in  exi-!! 
accommodation  of  the  bn^' 
mer  County  Bank  as  a  sai- 
of  March,  1833,  with  a  capital 
in  AutriHi  of  t!ie  same  \-car,  v.' 


•J  rciccr  Cf.— ibis   cunipany  'A 
the  following};  officers : 

;   William  F.   Lansii. 
■i,  William  K.  Lansinj 

)aid    up.     The   Thomns 
'ernating  incanci'- 

>  ,.d  is"  350  horse  y- 
power  arcs  and  aboiM 

■  use,  and  the  numuci 

County  Ben:  " 
u    in   Littl- 
called  the  Aq: 

■i   issued  scrip   1 
iod.     The 
iiated  on  ti 

o  and  began  bi. 

:  ;nied  directors 


Ki)llu'ell,  and  Abijah  Mann,  jr., 

cBiiiier. 

At  the  expiration  of  its  charter  in 
ized  as  an  associate  bank  i-''  -  *'  — 
of  capital. 


istitution  was  reorgan 


:;ul:on.  \Vf. 


H.  p.  Alt- 


I, 
Bank  of  Little  Falls,  with  ilie  -. 


ity  Nation^ 
fore. 


^^■,yr^K...r.frf 


Town  of  little  falls.  291 

Its  directors  were  H.  P.  Alexander,  V.  S.  Kenyon.  Wm.  Ingham,  G.  N.  Willard, 
James  Feeter,  Z.  0.  Priest,  W.  Starr,  George  A.  Hardin,  and  A.  G.  Story,  with  the 
same  president  and  cashier  as  above  mentioned. 

On  the  31st  of  October,  1878,  a  circular  was  issued  by  the  bank  an- 
nouncing its  going  into  liquidation,  and  its  immediate  organization  on 
the  following  day  as  the  National  Herkimer  County  Bank,  with  the 
same  officers  and  management,  and  $250,000  capital.  The  bank  con- 
ducted its  business  in  the  old  Beattie  building  until  the  completion  of 
its  own  structure,  corner  of  Albany  and  Ann  streets  in  1833,  when  it 
removed  thereto. 

The  present  directors  are  Wm.  G.  Milligan,  A.  G.  Story,  Lorenzo  Carryl,  Sclmyler  R. 
Ingham,  Geo.  A.  Hardin,  David  H.  Bnrrell,  Titus  Sheard,  Alex  W.  Shepard,  Jacob  Zoller. 

Following  are  the  names  of  the  successive  presidents  and  cashiers  of 
the  bank : 

Presidents,  Standish  Barry,  N.  S.  Benton,  H.  P.  Alexander,  A.  G.  Story,  Z.  C. 
Priest,  Wm.  G.  Milligan.  Cashiers,  Watts  Sherman,  A.  G.  Story,  William  G.  Milligan, 
Albert  Story. 

The  present  vice-president  is  David  H.  Burrell ;  S.  J.  Waters,  jr.,  tel- 
ler;  George  D.  Smith,  Gilbert  Lyon,  E.  B.  Waite,  jr.,  bookkeepers. 
This  is  now  the  largest  banking  institution  in  Herkimer  county,  and  has 
adopted  a  liberal  policy  toward  the  business  interests  of  the  community. 
Its  deposits  amount  to  more  than  $1,000,000,  and  it  has  not  failed  to 
make  regular  dividends  in  the  sixty  years  of  its  existence. 

Litiie  Falls  National  Bank. — This  bank  was  organized  in  December, 
1878,  and  business  was  begun  early  in  the  year  1879  in  the  block  on  the 
corner  of  Main  and  Ann  streets,  with  the  following  officers: 

President,  Seth  M.  Richmond;  vice-president,  E.C.Rice;  cashier,  Amos  A.  Bradley  ; 
teller  and  assistant  cashier,  W.  S.  Feeter ;  directors,  S.  M.  Richmond,  James  Feeter, 
Isaac  Small,  B.  C.  Rice,  J.  H.  Ives,  R.  H.  Smith,  A.  L.  Eaton,  William  Beattie,  George 
Nelson. 

The  capital  of  the  bank  is  $100,000  and  it  now  has  surplus  and  prof- 
its of  $42,000.  This  has  been  a  prosperous  institution  since  its  organ- 
ization. The  chief  officers  of  the  bank  remain  as  at  first,  with  the 
exception  of  cashier,  in  which  J.  D.  Feeter  succeeded  W.  S.  Feeter, 
who  had  succeeded  Amos  A.  Bradley.  L.  O.  Bucklin  is  the  present 
assistant  cashier,  and  the  following  are  the  directors: 


292  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

S.  M.  Richmond,  Isaac  Small,  James  H.  Ives,  E.  C.  Rice,  J.  D.  Feeter,  J.  H.  Bucklin, 
A.  L.  Eaton,  George  Nelson,  R.  H.  Smith. 

MANUFACTURES. 

The  Stotie  Mill. — It  is  known  that  a  grist  mill  and  saw-mill  were  in 
operation  at  Little  F"alls  durin^^  the  Revolutionary  War  and  were  de- 
stroyed by  the  tories  and  Indians.  The  old  stone  mill  was  erected  early 
in  the  present  century,  the  exact  date  being  now  unknown.  It  passed 
through  the  hands  of  many  proprietors,  and  was  often  repaired  and 
improved.  It  stands  on  the  north  bank  of  the  Mohawk  River,  about  fift\- 
rods  below  the  head  of  the  falls.  Among  the  more  recent  proprietors  wa.s 
George  A.  Feeter.  It  was  for  a  while  in  use  as  a  manufactory  of 
wooden  packing-boxes  for  knit  goods.  In  November,  1892,  VV.  Staf- 
ford &  Co.  leased  the  building  and  equipped  it  with  machinery  for 
building  the  Snyder  &  Fisher  rib  knitting  machine,  which  they  are  now- 
manufacturing. 

Another  ancient  manufactory  was  the  paper-mill,  the  site  of  which 
was  sold  by  General  Bellinger  in  1828  to  Sprague  &  Dann.  It  stood 
just  below  the  grist-mill  on  the  south  side  of  tlie  river,  was  built  of 
wood  and  the  power  was  supplied  by  water  from  the  same  dam  used  for 
the  grist  and  saw- mills  adjoining  it.  Among  those  who  at  various  peri- 
ods occupied  the  mill  were  Ezra  Sprague,  David  Paige,  M.  VV.  Priest, 
John  Satterly,  and  Philo  and  Elijah  Reed  ;  the  latter  continued  the 
manufacture  of  paper  until  about  1862,  when  the  building  was  pur- 
chased by  the  owners  of  the  cotton  factory  and  converted  into  dwellings. 

The  Henry  Cheney  Hammer  Company. — Occupies  'the  site  of  the  Will- 
iam Ingham  Fulling  and  Carding  Mill,  the  first  mill  site  sold  in  Little 
Falls.  In  the  spring  of  1856  Henry  Cheney  came  to  Little  Falls  from 
Otsego  county  and  began  the  manufacture  of  hammers,  the  factory  be- 
ing situated  on  Mill  street.  About  the  year  1874  he  began  the  manu- 
facture of  axes  also,  and  carried  on  an  extensive  business.  After  Mr. 
Cheney's  death  in  1879  hammers  only  were  made.  In  July,  i88i,a 
stock  company  was  organized  under  the  above  name,  which  bought  the 
property  and  business  from  the  Cheney  estate,  largely  increased  the 
facilities,  and  added  late  and  improved  rnachinery.  The  capacity  of 
the   factory  is  about  sixty  dozen  hammers  per   day.     The  officers  of 


TOWN  OP  LITTLE  FALLS.  293 

the  company  are  :     S.  R.  Ingham,   president;    George   D.   Waterman, 
secretary  and  treasurer. 

Rockton  Knitting- Mills. — A  few  rods  below  the  head  of  the  falls,  on 
the  south  side  of  the  river,  General  Christopher  P.  Bellinger  erected, 
about  1810,  a  small  grist-mill,  and  some  years  later  a  saw-mill.  These 
two  mills  were  operated  until  1844.  In  1837  a  distillery  was  connected 
with  the  grist-mill  by  Moses  Drake,  and  they  were  in  operation  until  they 
were  demolished  to  make  room  for  a  large  stone  cotton  manufactory, 
four  stories  in  height.  It  was  erected  by  a  company  of  citizen  stock- 
holders, incorporated  under  the  State  laws,  and  was  named  the  "  As- 
torogan  Cotton  Mills."  After  several  years  the  company  failed,  and 
the  property  passed  into  possession  of  non-resident  proprietors.  Gar- 
ner &  Co.,  of  New  York,  were  the  last  to  operate  it  as  a  cotton  factory. 
They  manufactured  about  1,500,000  yards  of  print  cloths  annually. 
On  the  death  of  Mr.  Garner  the  mill  was  idle  for  a  while.  W.  W.  Whit- 
man purchased  the  property  in  1885,  and  since  that  time  has  success- 
fully operated  it  as  a  knitting- mill  for  manufacturing  knit  underwear 
for  men,  women  and  children.  Mr.  Whitman  was  formerly  of  the  mer- 
cantile firm  of  Burrell  &  Whitman.  January  i,  1891,  R.  S.  Whitman 
became  a  member  of  the  firm.      From  150  to  175  hands  are  employed. 

The  saw-mill  now  run  by  Benton  I.  Cooper,  who  leased  the  property 
of  D.  W.  Ladue  in  1892,  stands  on  a  small  island  near  the  north  shore, 
a  few  rods  above  the  grist-mill,  and  has,  like  the  grist-mill,  had  a  succes 
sion  of  proprietors  and  tenants.  The  business  carried  on  by  Mr.  Cooper 
at  present  consists  in  the  running  of  a  saw- mill,  cheese  box  factory  and 
a  cider-mill.  Mr.  Ladue  had  worked  in  Ingham's  cheese-box  factory 
until  he  had  obtained  a  knowledge  of  the  business,  when  he  bought  out 
Mr.  Ingham  in  1855,  and  in  1867  he  purchased  the  saw-mill  of  William 
I.  Skinner.  Thus  the  business  was  combined  and  has  been  successfully 
carried  on  since.  In  the  year  1875  he  commenced  manufacturing  cider. 
In  December,  1868,  Harvey  Schuyler  was  admitted  to  partnership,  and 
the  firm  was  known  as  Ladue  &  Schuyler.  Mr.  Schuyler  subsequently 
retired,  and  Mr.  Ladue  continued  the  business  until  1892,  when  he 
leased  to  Mr.  Cooper,  as  above  mentioned. 

Dettinger  &  Draper's  box  factory  is  the  successor  of  the  Little  Falls 
box  factory,  which  was  purchased    in    1890.     Wooden   boxes  for   knit 


294  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

goods  are  largely  made,  and  planing,  matching  and  general  carpenter 
work  done. 

Sask  and  Blind  Factory. — In  the  fall  of  1846  A.  G.  Harris,  of  Little 
Falls,  and  Clark  Houghton,  of  Eatonville,  erected  a  building  and  put  in 
machinery  for  the  manufacture  of  sash  and  blinds.  In  the  ensuing  win- 
ter they  failed  and  in  the  spring  of  1847  the  building  was  rented  by  W. 
B.  Houghton,  who  afterwards  purchased  it.  He  and  his  brother,  J.  G. 
Houghton,  conducted  the  business  until  about  1855,  when  Byron  K. 
Houghton  was  admitted  to  the  firm,  the  style  becoming  Houghton  & 
Son,  which  it  continued  until  1863.  Between  1863  and  1868,  Guilford 
N.  Houghton  had  an  interest  in  the  business.  In  1885  Newell  &  Little 
rented  the  property  from  the  estate  of  B.  K.  Houghton  and  conducted 
the  business  until  1892,  when   Mr.  Newell  retired. 

Valley  Flouring  Mills. — These  mills  were  built  in  the  year  1836,  by 
Rodney  Durkee,  the  machinerj'  being  from  Utica,  where  it  was  manu- 
factured. They  have  always  been  operated  as  flour  and  feed  mills,  have 
passed  through  various  hands,  and  have  been  idle  part  of  the  time.  In 
1886  they  were  purchased  by  William  A.  Ingham,  and  in  recent  years 
have  been  greatly  improved.  They  are  operated  by  water,  contain 
three  runs  of  stone  and  all  the  machinery  requisite  for  a  first-class  mill. 
The  capacity  is  1,000  bushels  per  day. 

The  extensive  Mohawk  Mills,  for  the  manufacture  of  woolen  goods, 
were  once  an  industry  of  considerable  importance.  The  buildings  are 
on  Mill  street.  The  plant  began  by  the  erection  of  buildings  by 
the  Little  Falls  Woolen  Company  in  1842;  they  were  succeeded  by 
the  Wool  Growers'  Manufacturing  Company,  whose  business  was 
closed  in  1852.  J.  W.  Stitt  &  Co.,  of  Philadelphia,  purchased  the  factory 
and  operated  it  twelve  or  fifteen  years  and  more  than  doubled  the  ex- 
tent of  the  plant.  It  finally  passed  into  possession  of  A.  T.  Stewart  & 
Co.,  the  celebrated  New  York  merchants,  and  is  now  owned  by  Albert 
B.  Hilton.      The  buildings  have  been  unoccupied  for  some  time. 

Little  Falls  Box  Factory. — In  the  year  1872  Victor  Adams  began  the 
manufacture  of  paper  boxes  with  one  assistant,  at  the  corner  of  Main 
and  Ann  streets.  The  present  factory  on  East  Mill  street  was  built  in 
1879,  and  comprises  a  four-story  brick  building  and  a  two-story  build- 
ing, equipped  with  all  requisite  machinerj'  for  the  manufacture  of  paper 


I{^c-/y^  Wat/XL 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  295 

and  wooden  boxes.  A  forty  five  horse  power  engine  and  one  hundred 
horse  power  water  wheel  furnish  the  power.  Over  lOO  operatives  are 
employed. 

Saxony  Woolen-Mills. — This  establishment  is  situated  on  East  Mill 
street  a  little  below  the  bridge.  The  buildings  were  erected  about  1850 
by  TiumbuU,  French  &  Co  ,  the  firm  being  composed  of  Earl  Trum- 
bull, Joseph  French,  Washington  Van  Driesen,  J.  N.  Lake,  Dexter  Al- 
den,  and  J.  S.  Aldridge.  They  first  began  the  manufacture  of  ingrain 
carpet,  which  they  continued  for  some  years.  The  property  came  into 
possession  of  Seth  M.  Richmond  and  Amos  and  Charles  King  in  1882, 
and  the  manufactured  product  now  consists  of  high  grade  woolen 
underwear  ;  about  225  hands  are  employed.  The  immediate  manage- 
ment is  in  the  hands  of  Charles  King,  son  in  law  of  Mr.  Richmond. 

The  MacKinno7i  Knitting- Mill. — In  February,  1881,  Robert  Mac- 
Kinnon came  from  Cohoes,  and  in  company  with  Robert  Ablett  and 
Walter  Hume,  purchased  the  knit  goods  business  of  Greene  &  Girvan 
and  began  business  under  the  style  of  Ablett,  MacKinnon  &  Co.,  in  the 
Loomis  building  on  Mill  street.  The  business  grew  rapidly,  and  in 
1887  Mr.  MacKinnon  withdrew  from  the  firm  and  purchased  the  site  he 
now  occupies,  then  including  wooden  buildings,  wherein  he  began  the 
manufacture  of  knit  goods.  His  success  was  remarkable,  and  the  de- 
velopment of  his  business  was  such  that  in  September,  1889,  he  began 
the  erection  of  his  present  large  brick  mill  on  the  same  site.  The 
building  is  four  stories  and  a  basement  and  129x62  feet  in  area.  This 
mill  was  started  in  the  spring  of  1891,  and  the  business  under  Mr. 
MacKinnon's  energetic  and  sagacious  management  has  continued  in  ex- 
ceptional prosperity.  The  mill  is  one  of  the  most  thoroughly  equipped 
in  the  State,  lighted  by  electricity,  furnished  with  automatic  sprinklers, 
speaking  tubes,  etc  About  1,000  dozen  garments  are  manufactured 
daily,  and  the  product  has  an  annual  value  of  about  $800,000.  On  the 
pay-roll  are  550  names.  (See  biography  of  Mr.  MacKinnon  in  later 
pages  of  this  work.) 

Riverside  Ktiitting-Mills. — In  the  year  1881  Robert  Ablett  came  to 
Little  Falls  and  began  the  manufacture  of  knit  underwear,  as  a  member 
of  the  firm  of  Ablett,  MacKinnon  &  Co.  This  firm  was  reorganized 
in  1884  as   Ablett  &   MacKinnon,  and  in  1886  Mr.  MacKinnon  with- 


296  HISTORY  OP  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

drew.  Mr.  Ablett  continued  alone  for  a  time,  after  which,  until  1891, 
the  mill  remained  idle.  In  that  year  Rugene  Walrath  fitted  the  mill 
with  new  machinery  and  began  manufacturing  men's  fine  Balbriggan 
underwear,  with  success.  About  100  hands  are  employed  and  125 
dozen  garments  are  made  daily. 

Pork  Packing,  Etc. — One  of  the  extensive  industries  of  the  village  is 
that  of  Jacob  Zoller,  on  East  Mill  street,  who  is  engaged  in  packing 
pork  and  dealing  in  cheese,  butter,  eggs,  etc.  He  began  in  i860,  and 
has  since  steadily  increased  his  business.  In  1883  he  erected  his  pres- 
ent extensive  building,  of  stone,  three  stories  high,  which  is  fully 
equipped  with  all  necessary  facilities  for  cold  storage  and  packing. 

J.  S.  Barnet  &  Bro. — A  tannery  has  been  in  existence  on  the  site 
now  occupied  by  this  firm  for  many  years,  and  was  built  and  carried  on 
by  Nelson  Rust.  He  was  followed  by  Van  Vechten  &  Weeks,  and 
later  by  Gilbert  &  Weeks,  who  sold  to  the  present  proprietors  in  1885. 
In  1887  the  capacity  of  the  tannery  was  doubled,  and  the  product  is 
now  about  i  ,000  wax  calf  skins  per  day.  The  firm  has  a  salesroom  at  27 
Spruce  street,  New  York,  and  another  in  Boston.  They  also  operate  a 
large  tannery  at  Gloversville  and  one  at  Canisteo.  (See  biography  of 
J.  S.  Barnet  in  later  pages  of  this  volume.) 

The  Little  Falls  Paper  Cotnpatiy — In  1857  the  firm  of  S.  M.  &  A. 
Richmond,  associated  with  E.  B.  Waite,  built  a  paper-mill  on  the  lower 
falls,  which  they  operated  until  1888,  when  it  was  sold  out  to  the  Little 
Falls  Paper  Company.  The  members  of  this  company  are  chiefly  non- 
residents. 

Titus  Sheard  Company. — On  the  site  and  in  the  building  once  occu- 
pied by  D.  &  J.  Petrie's  foundry,  corner  of  Furnace  and  Main  streets, 
is  now  situated  the  prosperous  knit  goods  manufactory  of  the  Titus 
Sheard  Company.  In  1880  Mr.  Sheard,  who  was  then  manufacturing 
woolen  yarns  on  Loomis  Island,  across  the  river,  converted  the  old 
foundry  into  a  knitting  mill  and  began  the  manufacture  of  knit  goods. 
The  business  increaseil  and  in  1881  he  built  a  new  mill.  In  18S4  George 
White  and  Frank  Senior  were  admitted  to  partnership,  the  firm  name 
being  Titus  Sheard  &  Co.  In  1886  a  large  store- house  was  built  oppo- 
site the  mill,  on  John  and  Main  streets.  In  January,  1888,  a  stock  com- 
pany was  organized,  known  as  the  Titus  Sheard  Company,  with  the  fol- 


y/U^^^^^r:^^  ^^^^: 


£'v;V-^5-'^-"-"=''^ 


^^,^^:^^£  ^^^^^^^>^^^ 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  297 

lowing  officers  :  Titus  Sheard,  president ;  George  Wliite,  superintendent ; 
Frank  Senior,  treasurer  ;  Wallace  Hose,  secretary.  The  company  man- 
ufactures knit  shirts  and  drawers,  and  the  mill  has  a  capacity  of  60,000 
dozen  annually,  of  an  approximate  value  of  $500,000.  About  300 
hands  are  employed.  The  annual  pay  roll  is  $1 10,000,  and  the  mijjl 
consumes  about  750,000  pounds  of  clean  wool  per  year.  The  produ(it 
is  sold  directly  to  the  wholesale  trade.  / 

The  Little  Falls  Knittitig  Company — Was  organized  in  October,  1872, 
with  Titus  Sheard  as  president,  D.  H.  Burrell,  vice-president,  and  J.  J. 
Gilbert,  secretary.  The  original  capital  stock  was  $60,000.  They 
purchased  their  building  of  Mitchell  &  Bailey,  who  erected  it  in  1872, 
and  began  the  manufacture  of  knit  underwear  in  March,  1873.  The 
company  now  operates  twelve  sets  of  cards  and  employs  250  hands. 
The  factory  is  situated  on  the  north  side  of  the  river,  at  the  head  of 
the  old  canal  of  the  Western  Inland  Lock  Navigation  Company.  The 
officers  are  Charles  Bailey,  president;  J.  J.  Gilbert,  vice-president;  Eli- 
jah Reed,  secretary  and  treasurer;  Squire  Bailey,  superintendent. 

The  Pike  Knittiftg- Machine  Co^npany — Is  located  on  Elizabeth  street. 
This  business  was  begun  with  the  late  Michael  Reddy  as  a  partner  in 
the  fall  of  1886.  Mr.  Reddy  died,  and  in  the  spring  of  1888  Mr.  Pike 
purchased  his  interest.  The  business  is  prosperous  and  an  industry 
of  growing  importance. 

Chris.  Hansen's  Laboratory. — This  is  a  branch  of  the  main  house  in 
Copenhagen,  Denmark,  which  has  a  world-wide  reputation.  The 
branch  was  first  established  in  New  York  in  1878,  but  in  1881  was  re- 
moved to  Little  Falls,  the  center  of  a  great  dairying  industry.  The 
products  of  the  laboratory  are  Hansen's  Butter  Color,  Danish  Rennet 
Extract,  Cheese  Color,  Rennet  Tablets,  etc.  The  establishment  was 
located  opposite  the  New  York  Central  Railroad  depot  until  1891,  when 
Lock  Island,  in  the  Mohawk  in  the  eastern  part  of  the  village,  was  pur- 
chased of  the  Benton  estate  and  its  name  changed  to  Hansen's  Island. 
A  heavy  retaining  wall  was  constructed  to  protect  the  western  side  of 
the  island  against  high  water,  and  a  commodious  stone  building  erected. 
The  factory  is  reached  by  the  iron  bridge  which  was  built  by  the  town 
in  1892,  at  a  cost  of  $15,000.  This  branch  was  founded  by  and  is  un- 
der the  management  of  J.  D.  Fredericksen,  a  native  of  Denmark.     The 


298  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

products  are  shipped  to  all  parts  of  this  country,  to  New  Zealand,  Aus- 
tralia and  many  parts  of  Europe. 

On  Southern  avenue  is  situated  the  planing- mill,  saw- mill  and  furni- 
ture factory  of  P.  W.  Casler,  which  was  established  in  1884.  A  large 
business  is  carried  on  and  from  fifteen  to  twenty- five  hands  are  employed. 

Superior  Furnace  Company. — This  company  was  organized  in  1889 
with  a  capital  stock  of  $40,000,  and  the  following  officers:  Watts  T. 
Loomis,  president ;  Walter  W.  Whitman,  vice-  president ;  William  G. 
Milligan,  treasurer ;  William  H.  Switzer,  secretary  and  manager.  The 
works  and  office  are  on  Mohawk  street,  occupying  a  large  portion  of 
the  foundry  and  machine  shop  of  M.  Redd}',  to  which  large  additions 
have  been  made.  Three  styles  of  heating  furnaces  are  made — for  hot 
air,  a  combination  of  hot  air  and  steam,  and  hot  water. 

Reddys  Machine  Shop  and  Foundry. — A  paper-mill  was  erected  in 
Little  Falls  in  1 830  by  William  J.  Pardee,  and  after  operation  for  some 
time  was  conducted  by  M.  W.  Priest  and  William  Paige,  and  was 
burned  in  1839.  It  was  rebuilt  by  S-  M.  &  A.  Richmond  of  wood. 
It  was  again  burned  July  13,  1853,  and  was  rebuilt  in  brick  in  the  same 
year.  The  Richmonds  sold  it  to  Butcher,  Lamb  &  Senior,  who  used 
the  building  as  a  shoddy  mill.  It  was  next  owned  by  Owens  &  Petrie, 
who  manufactured  starch  there.  Mr.  Petrie  sold  it  to  J.  J.  Gilbert,  and 
he  transferred  it  to  Michael  Reddy.  Early  in  the  history  of  the  village 
General  Bellinger  sold  to  Alanson  Ingham  a  site  for  a  felting  and  cloth- 
ing works..  Mr.  Ingham  erected  a  wooden  building  and  carried  on  the 
business  several  years.  The  building  was  then  converted  into  a  ma- 
chine shop,  and  a  foundry  was  established  in  connection.  After  pass- 
ing through  several  hands^it  was  purchased  in  1839  by  Michael  Reddy. 
This  site  and  the  paper-mill  property  above  described,  purchased  in 
1886  by  Mr.  Reddy,  has  been  converted  by  rebuilding  and  additions 
into  the  present  extensive  works.  Upon  the  death  of  Mr.  Reddy  the 
property  passed  to  his  sons,  Robert,  James,  and  P-dward  Reddy.  Cast 
gearings  and  other  foundry  work  are  now  produced,  and  thirt\-  hands 
employed. 

Yarn-Mill. — The  old  yarn  factory  on  Loomis  island,  near  the  Reddy 
foundry,  was  built  by  Earl  Trumbull  between  1845  and  1848,  on  the 
site  of  Heath    &    Barber's  foundry,  which   was   one  of  the   very  early 


TOWN  OF  LITTLE  FALLS.  299 

manufacturing  establishments  of  the  place.  It  was  erected  originally 
by  Henry  Heath  and  James  N.  Barber,  who  had  leased  the  site  and 
power  from  General  Bellinger.  Trumbull's  lease  was  from  A.  Loomis, 
who  succeeded  General  Bellinger.  The  plant  was  destroyed  by  fire  in 
1853,  and  Mr.  Loomis  rebuilt  it  the  same  year.  From  1851  to  1868 
the  mill  was  operated  by  Gay  &  Barber.  It  was  then  sold  to  John  C. 
Cunningham,  who  sold  it  at  the  end  of  a  year,  and  in  1870  it  came  into 
the  possession  of  Titus  Sheard.  He  successfully  operated  the  factory 
for  a  number  of  years.  It  is  now  used  as  a  store-house  by  the  Superior 
Furnace  Company. 

Rock  Island  Paper  Mill — This  mill  is  situated  on  Mohawk  street, 
south  side  of  the  river.  It  was  erected  by  Arphaxed  Loomis  on  the 
site  of  a  woolen- mill  which  was  built  by  Erastus  Hovey  in  1845.  It 
was  also  used  as  a  flax-dressing  mill,  and  finally  as  a  woolen  mill.  In 
1877  William  Kingston  &  Co.  leased  the  mill  of  Mr.  Loomis  and  began 
the  manufacture  of  paper,  which  was  continued  until  i88i.  From  that 
year  until  1883  the  mill  was  idle,  and  in  the  latter  year  it  was  burned. 
Mr.  Loomis  erected  a  new  building  on  the  site,  and  Mr.  Kingston 
equipped  it  with  new  machinery  and  again  began  manufacturing  paper. 
The  product  is  now  building  paper,  and  the  capacity  of  the  mill  three 
and  one-half  tons  per  day. 

A  few  rods  below  the  paper-mill  on  Loomis  Island,  above  men- 
tioned, was  in  early  times  a  small  machine  shop  which  was  carried  on 
by  James  Tillinghast  and  was  destroyed  by  the  flood  of  1865.  On  the 
site  was  erected  a  last  factory  which  was  operated  by  Kingston  &  Co. 
It  has  been  unoccupied  for  several  years. 

The  Warrior  Mower  Cojnpany. — This  is  one  of  the  once  prosperous 
industries  of  Little  Falls  that  has  gone  out  of  existence.  The  company 
was  incorporated  in  1868  for  the  manufacture  of  mowing  machines 
under  patents  to  Frank  Bramer.  A  large  manufacturing  plant  was 
erected  and  business  at  once  begun.  The  machines  were  successful  and 
for  many  years  found  a  market  in  all  parts  of  the  world.  Three  thou- 
sand or  more  were  made  annually.  The  business  was  given  up  in  1891 
and  the  buildings  are  now  used  for  storage. 

Astoroiiga  Knitting- Mills. — In  1858  J.  J.  Gilbert  built  a  stone  fac- 
tory on  Seeley  Island,  south  bank  of  the  Mohawk,  in  the  eastern  part  of 


300  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTT. 

the  village  and  began  manufacturing  starch.  Connected  with  the  fac- 
tory was  an  elevator  on  the  canal  about  twenty  rods  distant,  which  re- 
ceived grain  from  boats  and  conducted  it  to  the  factory.  The  business 
was  continued  until  1884,  Mr.  Gilbert  in  the  mean  time  having  died. 
In  1885  the  building  was  remodeled  by  the  estate,  and,  with  the  Wood- 
bridge  ])aper-mi!l,  converted  into  a  knitting  mill ;  it  was  operated  b\- 
(lilbert  &  Walrath  until  1891  when  the  copartnership  expired  by  limit- 
ation, Mr.  Walrath  retired,  and  the  business  was  continued  by  J.  J. 
Gilbert,  a  son  of  the  founder  of  the  original  factory.  He  manufactures 
a  variety  of  knitted  underwear.  The  elevator  alluded  to  above  is  now 
in  use  for  elevating  and  storing  grain. 

Shoddy  and  Wool  Extract. — This  business  was  established  by  Smith 
&  Bushnell  in  1882,  on  a  small  scale,  the  works  being  situated  on 
Loomis  Island.  In  1887  the  business  had  so  much  increased  that  a 
new  mill  was  built  on  Moss  Island,  and  at  present  fifty-five  hands  are 
employed,  and  the  product  is  sold  throughout  the  country. 

Hotels. — In  early  times,  on  the  then  famous  Mohawk  turnpike,  where 
the  old  building  now  occupied  by  Ransom  &  Wilcox  still  stands,  on 
Main  street,  one  Morgan  kept  a  stage-house,  and  was  succeeded  by 
John  McKinster.  A  handsome  gilt  buck's  head  and  horns  projected  from 
the  lintel.  Here  the  four-horse  post  coaches  halted  to  change  teams 
and  for  meals  and  other  refreshment.  After  the  Erie  Canal  was  com- 
pleted these  coaches  gradually  disappeared  from  the  turnpike  road,  as 
travelers  went  mostly  by  canal.  The  taverns,  which  were  quite  numer- 
ous in  the  village  at  that  period,  were,  one  by  one,  discontinued,  the 
buildings  being  converted  into  dwelling  houses  or  stores.  A  few  of  the 
best  public  houses,  however,  remained,  some  of  which  have  been  kept 
as  such  up  to  the  present. 

The  Girvan  House,  corner  of  Main  and  Ann  streets,  is  one  of  the 
landmarks  of  the  village,  and  was  originally  erected  for  a  dwelling  by 
Eben  Britton,  father-in-law  of  Nathaniel  S.  Benton.  Subsequently  Mr. 
Benton  raised  the  building  one  story  and  added  to  it  on  the  eastern 
and  western  ends.  It  has  been  kept  by  various  proprietors,  and  is  now 
under  the  management  of  James  ZoUer. 

A  hotel  long  known  as  the  Hinchman  House  stood  on  the  ground 
where  is  now   situated   the    Hardin  &  Wheeler   block    on   Main  street. 


TOWN  OF  FAIRFIELD.  301 

This  was  burned  in  March,  1S77,  and  George  W.  Shall,  who  was  popu- 
lar as  a  landlord,  converted  two  stores  in  the  Hinchman  property  into  a 
hotel,  and  successfully  conducted  it  until  1 891,  when  Messrs.  Lasher  & 
Weatherwax  leased  the  property  of  Mr.  Shall,  and  changed  the  name 
to  Hotel  Rockton.  On  the  i6th  of  March,  1892,  Mr.  Lasher  retired 
from  the  firm  and  A.  G.  Weatherwax  became  sole  proprietor. 

The  Metropolitan  Hotel,  corner  of  Main  and  Mary  streets,  now  kept 
by  Joseph  MuUin,  stands  on  a  site  that  has  long  been  used  for  hotel 
purposes.  In  1882  Mr.  Mullin  purchased  the  property,  then  known  as 
the  Bradford  House,  of  Mr.  N.  A.  Bradford,  and  rebuilt  it  into  a  hand- 
some structure  of  four  stories. 

The  Grand  Central  Hotel  was  erected  in  1875  on  the  site  formerly 
occupied  by  the  dwelling  of  the  late  George  H.  Feeter,  which  was 
owned  and  occupied  by  Peter  J.  Casler  in  1866.  Mr.  Casler  kept  the 
house  several  years,  but  it  is  now  used  for  other  purposes. 

There  are  several  other  less  important  public  houses  in  the  village 
which  do  not  call  for  special  mention. 


CHAPTER  XHL 

THE   TOWN   OF   FAIRFIELD. 

THIS  town  is  situated  near  the  center  of  Herkimer  county,  as  far  as 
relates  to  the  thickly  settled  southern  part,  and  is  bounded  on  the 
north  by  Norway  ;  on  the  east  by  Salisbury  and  Manheim  ;  on  the  south 
by  Little  Falls  and  Herkimer,  and  on  the  west  by  Newport  and  Herkimer. 
It  was  set  off  from  Norway  February  10,  1796,  and  from  it  a  part  of 
Newport  was  taken  in  1806,  and  a  part  of  Little  Falls  in  1829.  The 
surface  of  the  town  is  a  hilly  upland,  the  center  rising  into  a  ridge  nearly 
one  thousand  feet  above  the  West  Canada  Creek.  The  soil  on  the  up- 
lands is  mostly  clay  and  in  the  valleys  it  is  gravelly.  It  is  quite  well 
watered  with  small  streams,  and  West  Canada  Creek  flows  along  the 
southwest  border.  The  town  comprises  the  nortii  half  of  Glen's  pur- 
chase and  the  first  allotment  of  the  Royal  Grant. 


502  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Fairfield  was  first  settled  in  1770  by  three  German  families  named 
Maltanner,  Goodbrodt,  and  Shaver,  who  located  on  the  Royal  Grant, 
about  half  a  mile  northeast  of  the  site  of  F'airfield  village  and  near  to- 
gether. From  the  first- named  family  Maltanner  Creek  received  its 
name.      Quoting  from  Judge  Benton  : 

These  people  were  sent  there  by  Sir  William  Johnson,  to  make  an  opening  in  his 
Royal  Grant.  They  had  never  been  suspected  by  the  Americans  of  being  friendly  to 
their  cause;  nor  could  they  be  charged  with  disloyalty  to  the  king.  In  17^9  a  party 
of  Indians  came  to  this  little  settlement,  but  one  of  their  number  being  sick,  they  kept 
shy,  as  an  Indian  can,  about  ten  days,  to  allow  their  comrade  to  recover,  when,  with  a 
yell  and  a  whoop,  and  brandishing  their  tomahawk.'!,  they  fell  upon  Sir  John  Johnson's 
tenants!,  captured  two  of  the  Maltanners,  father  and  son,  killed  a  little  girl  sixteen  years 
old.  of  the  Shaver  family,  and  then  burned  up  all  Sir  John's  houses  and  buildings  in 
the  settlement.  The  Goodbrodt  and  Shaver  families  and  some  of  the  Maltanners  es- 
caped to  tell  the  sad  story  of  their  bereavement  and  los.ses  to  their  rebel  neighbors. 
The  Maltanners  were  taken  to  St.  Regis  by  the  Indians,  where  they  remained  three 
years,  and  returned  in  1782.  His  majesty's  officials  in  Canada  might  well  suppose  the 
two  captives,  if  allowed  to  return,  would  not  be  very  hearty  and  zealous  in  the  royal 
cause,  after  such  treatment;  and  therefore  concluded  to  detain  them.  The  elder  Mal- 
tanner, when  he  came  back,  said  he  met  Sir  John  in  Canada,  and  told  him  what  had 
happened,  whereat  the  gallant  knight  was  exceedingly  wrathful,  and  fulminated  big 
words  and  strong  language  against  the  d — d  savages,  for  their  conduct  in  killing,  tak- 
ing captive  and  dispersing  his  tenants,  and  burning  his  houses.  He  had  other  tenants 
on  the  grant,  loyal  and  true,  who  might  be  treated  m  the  same  way.  Sir  John  no 
doubt  felt  hurt,  not  because  any  tender  feeling  towards  his  fellow  man  had  been 
touched,  or  any  law  of  humanity  outraged ;  but  because  tlie  same  rule  of  warfare  he 
had  applied  to  others,  had  been,  and  might  again  be,  visited  upon  himself. 

There  was  a  German  settlement  in  the  town  before  the  Revolution 
near  the  Manheim  line,  about  four  miles  north  of  Little  Falls,  where 
the  Keller,  Windecker,  Fickert,  and  other  families,  who  were  not  of  the 
Burnetsfield  patentees,  settled  under  the  patronage  of  some  of  the  own- 
ers of  the  Glen's  purchase.  Cornelius  Chatfield  came  into  Fairfield  on 
the  24th  of  March,  1785,  and  settled  near  the  site  of  the  village.  He 
is  believed  to  have  been  the  first  New  Englander  to  arrive  after 
the  close  of  the  war.  Abijah  Mann,  father  of  Abijah  Mann,  jr.,  came 
in  the  following  May  and  settled  a  little  west  of  the  village  site.  These 
were  followed  by  Josiah,  David  and  Lester  Johnson,  who  came  from 
Connecticut  in  1786;  John  Bucklin  and  Benjamin  Bowen,  from  Rhode 
Island;  John  Eaton,  Nathaniel  and  William  Brown,  from  Massachusetts, 


TOWN  OF  FAIRFIELD.  303 

and  Samuel  Low  in  1787;  David  Benseley,  from  Rhode  Island,  and 
Elisha  Wyman  and  Comfort  Eaton,  from  Massachusetts  in  1788  ;  Jere- 
miah Ballard  from  Massachusetts  in  1789  ;  William  Bucklin,  the  Arnold 
families,  Daniel  Fenner,  Nathan  Smith,  and  Amos  and  James  Haile, 
mostly  from  Massachusetts,  in  1790;  Peter  and  Bela  Ward,  from  Con- 
necticut, in  1791.  A  large  part  of  these  settled  southwesterly  from 
Fairfield  village  ;  while  the  Eatons,  Browns,  Hailes,  Arnolds,  Bucklins 
and  Wards  located  at  what  became  known  as  Eatonsville.  Jeremiah 
Ballard  settled  about  two  miles  northeast  of  Fairfield  village.  Moses 
Mather,  father  of  Dr.  William  and  Jairus  Mather,  settled  on  Bartow 
Hill,  but  removed  to  Poland  in  1806,  where  he  remained  nine  years, 
and  then  returned  to  this  town  Jairus  Mather  is  still  an  influential 
resident  of  Fairfield.  John  and  Edward  Griswold  came  into  the 
town  soon  after  Mr.  Chatfield  and  purchased  land  on  the  west  of 
the  village  site.  Joseph  Teall  came  in  1788  and  bought  land  of  Mr. 
Chatfield,  which  extended  into  what  is  now  the  village.  Robert  Nolton, 
father  of  Judge  Hiram  Nolton,  settled  just  west  of  the  village.  John  B. 
Fenner  came  into  the  town  in  1806.  Samuel  Green  was  one  of  the 
early  settlers  and  probably  erected  the  first  grist  and  saw- mill.  Many 
of  these  pioneers  have  descendants  living  in  the  town,  as  will  appear. 

On  Maltanner's  Brook  there  is  a  picturesque  water-fall.  In  that 
vicinity  Daniel  Marvin  was  an  early  settler  and  had  a  small  grist-mill 
the'-e  at  a  very  early  date.  Richard  Bushnell  succeeded  Marvin.  Mer- 
rell  Hudleston  came  into  possession  of  the  farm  on  which  the  water- fall 
is  situated  and  improved  the  grounds  about  the  falls  for  a  picnic  resort. 
He  gave  the  place  the  name  of  "  Cupid's  Retreat,"  which  has  ever 
since  clung  to  it.  Daniel  and  Amasa  Bushnell  were  prominent  citizens 
and  had  at  one  time  a  fulling-mill  just  west  of  where  the  cheese  factory 
is  located. 

The  first  town  meeting  was  held  April  6,  1796,  when  the  following 
officers  were  chosen  : 

Supervisor,  John  Comins;  town  clerk,  Stephen  Carpenter;  commissioners  of  high- 
ways, Henry  Neely,  Abijah  Mann,  Joseph  Willard ;  assessors,  Roger  Kinne,  Isaiah 
Johnson,  Amos  Graves  ;  overseers  of  the  poor,  Abijah  Mann,  John  Eaton  ;  school  com- 
missioner.'!, Nathan  Smith,  Wilham  Lapham,  Joseph  Mason;  constables,  Luther Britton, 
John  McMichael ;  poundmasters,  David  Brown,  Roswell  Buell  ;  fence  viewers,  David 
Brown,  Cornelius  Chatfield,  Joseph  Teall ;   collector  of  rates,  Moses  Mather. 


304  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTr. 

At  the  same  meeting  the  town  was  divided  into  twenty-eight  road 
districts,  and  the  simple  government  of  the  community  was  established. 

During  a  considerable  period  after  the  first  settlement  of  this  town 
the  population  was  greater  in  number  than  at  the  present  time.  The 
farms  were  smaller,  and  grain  raising  for  market  at  Albany  was  the  chief 
agricultural  occupation.  Butter  and  cheese  were  made  for  home  use, 
but  not  much  more.  If  grain  crops  failed,  or  if,  as  often  happened 
after  the  canal  was  opened,  prices  were  very  low,  money  was  scarce, 
and  the  farmers  suffered.  But  the  time  came  to  this  town,  as  to  many 
others  in  Herkimer  county,  when  farmers  awoke  to  the  importance  of 
dairying  as  a  means  of  bettering  their  condition.  They  are  among  the 
most  enterprising  to  be  found  anywhere,  and  embraced  the  comparative- 
ly new  occupation  with  energy.  The  result  is,  that  no  town  in  the 
county  now  excels  Fairfield  as  a  dairy  center,  and  years  ago  it  had  ac- 
quired the  reputation  of  being  the  best  in  the  world. 

Joseph  Teall  has  already  been  mentioned  as  the  first  settler  on  the 
site  of  Fairfield  village.  He  purchased  his  land  of  Abijah  Mann,  and 
built  his  dwelling  in  rear  of  the  old  chapel  of  the  academy.  The  first 
merchants  in  the  village  were  Nahum  Daniels  and  William  Smith,  who 
had  a  store  in  1796  ;  they  were  succeeded  by  Norman  Butler,  who  kept 
a  store  thirty  years  or  more.  Butler  also  built  a  saw-mill,  and  owned 
a  grist  mill  and  a  distillery,  in  which  Gilbert  Dean  had  preceded  him. 
Major  Jonathan  and  Stephen  Hallett  were  early  merchants  ;  Stephen  ac- 
quired Jonathan's  interest  about  1 820,  and  carried  on  an  extensive 
business  both  in  Fairfield  and  Norway.  He  was  appointed  sheriff  of 
the  county  by  the  Council  of  Appointment  in  1821,  reappointed  in 
1822,  and  in  November  of  the  latter  year  elected  to  that  office,  which 
he  held  until  1826.  He  died  at  Fairfield  November  19,  1827,  aged 
forty  years,  leaving  a  wife  and  two  daughters,  only  one  of  whom,  Mrs. 
X.  A.  Willard,  of  Little  Falls,  survives.  Mr.  Hallett  was  succeeded  by 
Alexander  JI.  liuell,  who,  at  the  death  of  the  former,  assumed  the  sole 
proprietorship  of  the  business  at  Fairfield.  In  connection  with  differ- 
ent persons,  Mr.  Buell  extended  his  mercantile  business  into  the  neigh- 
boring towns  and  villages  of  the  county,  and  his  commercial  operations 
extended  to  various  parts  of  the  country.  He  was  elected  to  the  As- 
sembly in    1845,  and  to  the  Thirty- second   Congress  from  the  seven- 


TOWN  OF  FAIRFIELD.  305 

teenth  congressional  district,  composed  of  Herkimer  and  Montgomery 
counties,  in  1850.  He  died  at  Washington,  D.  C,  January  31,  1853, 
aged  fifty-two  years.  F.  A.  Morey  and  M.  A.  Barnes  are  at  present 
merchants  in  the  village.  The  first  frame  building  in  the  place  was  the 
one  in  which  Daniels  &  Smith  had  their  store.  The  first  tavern  was 
kept  by  Cornelius  Chatfield,  the  pioneer,  who  was  succeeded  by  John 
D.  Waterman;  and  Israel  Jones  had  a  public  house  which  John  E. 
Drake  now  keeps.  The  first  lawyer  in  the  town  was  William  Lapham, 
a  native  of  Ireland,  who  was  here  in  1796 ;  he  became  prominent  in  the 
affairs  of  the  town  and  combined  farming  with  his  legal  labors.  William 
D.  Ford  was  an  early  lawyer  and  became  member  of  Congress ;  and 
Hiram  Nolton  practiced  here  at  an  early  day,  and  afterwards  rose  to 
the  bench.  A.  sketch  of  his  career  will  be  found  in  the  chapter  on  the 
Bench  and  Bar.  Arunah  C.  Smith  was  an  early  attorney  and  first 
judge  of  the  county  in   1840. 

Col.  Charles  Willard  came  with  his  father  from  Saybrook,  Conn.,  in 
1793,  and  settled  in  that  part  of  the  town  of  Fairfield  known  as  the 
Platform,  where  he  spent  the  greater  part  of  his  life.  In  the  War  of 
1 812  he  held  a  commission,  and  was  on  duty  at  Sackett's  Harbor  when 
peace  was  declared.  Active,  energetic  and  public- spirited,  he  was 
widely  known  and  identified  with  movements  for  the  improvement  and 
well-being  of  the  town.  He  died  at  Newport,  July  14,  1862,  leaving 
a  large  family  of  children.  His  son,  George  N.  Willard,  about  sixty 
years  ago,  was  a  prominent  merchant  of  Herkimer  county.  He  was 
associated  in  business  with  the  late  Hon.  Alexander  H.  Buell  at  Fair- 
field and  Norway  for  several  years.  In  1848  he  removed  to  Newport, 
and  subsequently  to  Utica  and  Oriskany  Falls,  continuing  in  mercantile 
trade  at  each  place.  He  died  at  Newport,  November  26,  1888.  His 
son,  Charles  P.  Willard,  is  a  prominent  manufacturer  of  Chicago. 

Drs.  Eastman,  Taft  and  Sherwood  practiced  medicine  here  in  early 
years,  and  were  followed  by  Dr.  Moses  Johnson,  Dr.  William  Mather, 
Dr.  Griffin  Sweet,  Dr.  I.  N.  Willard,  and  Dr.  C.  W.  Nichols,  who  is  now 
in  practice.     The  present  postmaster  is  W.  Lamberson. 

The  village  of  Fairfield  has  a  national  reputation  as  the  site  of  the 
oldest  medical  college  in  the  United  States,  and  of  the  oldest  academy, 
histories  of  both  of  which  are  found  herein. 

39 


306  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Fairfield  Seminary. — In  the  autumn  of  1801  Rev.  Caleb  Alexander, 
a  Presbyterian  minister  residing  at  Mendon,  Mass.,  came  into  what  was 
then  called  Western  New  York,  to  visit  the  churches  and  Indians  as  a 
missionary.  He  visited  and  preached  at  Norway,  Salisbury  and  Fair- 
field, and  during  his  stay,  suggested  to  the  people  of  the  latter  place 
the  idea  of  establishing  a  school  of  academic  grade.  The  people  were 
favorably  impressed  with  the  proposition  and  immediately  set  about 
raising  the  necessary  funds.  Mr.  Alexander  removed  his  family  from 
Mendon  to  Fairfield  in  the  spring  of  1802,  and  in  connection  with 
Captain  Moses  Mather,  became  actively  engaged  in  circulating  the 
subscription.  Sufficient  funds  were  soon  procured  and  on  the  Fourth 
of  July,  1802,  the  academy  building  was  raised,  and  in  the  spring  of 
1803  was  ready  for  occupancy.  The  school  was  chartered  by  the  Re- 
gents of  the  University  March  15,  1803.  The  first  meeting  of  the  Board 
of  Trustees  was  held  April  6,  and  the  school  organized  April  13, 
with  Mr.  Alexander  as  principal.  He  was  an  accomp'ished  scholar, 
a  man  of  commanding  presence  and  possessed  of  great  tenacity  and 
perseverance,  and  consequently  the  school  was  successful  and  popular 
from  the  start. 

The  Alexandrian  Society,  an  association  of  students  for  mutual  im- 
provement and  practice  in  extemporaneous  speaking,  was  organized  in 
1806,  and  at  the  same  time  the  foundation  of  a  library  was  laid. 

In  order  to  increase  the  usefulness,  and  extend  the  sphere  of  the 
institution,  a  building  called  the  "  Wooden  Laboratory  "  was  erected  in 
1808,  and  Dr.  Josiah  Noyes  employed  to  give  lectures  on  chemistry 
and  the  theory  and  practice  of  medicine.  This  course  of  lectures  was 
so  largely  attended  that  the  building  was  found  too  small. 

It  was  then  thought  best  to  erect  a  larger  building  and  establish  a 
medical  and  anatomical  school,  so  in  1809-10  the  stone  laboratory  was 
built.  The  new  department  so  increased  the  number  of  students  in  at- 
tendance that  another  building  was  required  for  their  accommodation, 
and  in  181 1  a  stock  company  was  organized  which  erected  the  "  North 
Building."  This  building  was  rented  for  many  years  by  the  trustees  of 
the  academy  and  finally  purchased  by  them. 

In  January,  18 1 2,  Mr.  Alexander  resigned  as  principal  of  the 
academy  and  Rev.  Bethel  Judd  was  elected  in  his  place.      During  this 


f '  i' 


TOWN  OF  FAIRFIELD.  307 

year  the  Alexandrian  Society  was  reorganized  and  tlie  name  changed 
to  Calliopean  Society. 

About  this  time  an  arrangement  was  made  with  Trinity  Church,  N.  Y., 
by  which  the  academy  was  to  receive  the  sum  of  $750  annually,  on  con- 
dition that  the  principal  employed  should  be  an  Episcopal  clergyman, 
and  that  four  divinity  students  should  be  instructed  free.  From  this 
fact  the  school  was  sometimes  referred  to  as  a  "  Divinity  School."  In 
18 1 3  the  laboratory  was  transferred  to  the  Medical  College,  which  had 
been  lately  chartered. 

In  1 8 14  Rev.  Virgil  H.  Barber  was  made  principal.  After  about 
two  years  it  was  ascertained  that  this  gentleman  had  changed  his  re- 
ligious opinions  and  had  become  a  Catholic.  To  retain  him  as  prin- 
cipal being  therefore  in  violation  of  the  agreement  with  the  vestry  of 
Trinity  Church,  he  was  dismissed  by  the  trustees.  This  Mr.  Barber 
was  a  portly  man  of  fine  presence  and  affable  manners,  and  a  classical 
scholar  of  great  acquirements.  He  had  several  children,  and  the  Latin 
language  was  the  common  medium  of  conversation  in  his  family. 

The  next  principal  was  Rev.  Daniel  McDonald,  under  whose  ad- 
ministration the  school  was  attended  by  an  unusual  number  of  stu- 
dents who  afterwards  became  eminent  in  their  several  professions. 
In  1820  the  school  received  a  grant  of  $5,000  from  the  State,  and  with 
this  money  the  stock  of  the  North  Building  was  purchased,  the  scrip 
being  bought  up  at  the  rate  of  seventy  cents  on  the  dollar.  Dr.  Mc- 
Donald left  in  1 82 1  to  become  principal  of  Geneva  Academy,  and  the 
branch  Theological  School  at  F"airfic]d  was  transferred  to  Geneva.  He 
is  said  to  have  been  a  remarkable  man  ;  was  prominent  in  the  organ- 
ization of  Hobart  College,  and  for  several  years  its  acting  principal. 
With  Dr.  McDonald's  departure,  the  connection  of  F"airfield  Academy 
with  Trinity  Church  was  ended. 

Previous  to  this  time  frequent  efforts  had  been  made  to  obtain  a 
charter  for  a  college  at  Fairfield,  and,  in  1816,  the  Regents  granted  the 
charter  on  condition  that  $50,000  should  be  raised  ;  but  with  the  most 
strenuous  efforts  only  about  one-half  of  that  amount  could  be  obtained, 
and  no  college  was  established. 

A  short  time  before  Dr.  McDonald's  resignation  Bishop  Hobart  was 
earnestly  requested  to  locate  at  Fairfield  a  college  and  theological  school 


308  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

which  he  had  in  contemplation,  and,  as  an  inducement,  the  whole 
academic  property  was  offered  free.  The  bishop  did  not,  however, 
consider  the  location  sufficiently  far  west,  and  the  proposition  was  not 
accepted.  The  academy  had  now  been  in  operation  eighteen  years, 
and,  as  an  educational  institution,  had  acquired  a  reputation  unrivaled 
by  that  of  any  similar  school  in  the  country  ;  but  its  financial  affairs  had 
not  been  managed  in  accordance  with  strict  business  principles,  the  ac 
counts  had  been  carelessly  kept  and  many  bills  remained  uncollected, 
so  that  the  Board  of  Trustees  resolved  to  try  a  new  method  of  con- 
ducting the  school.  In  the  spring  of  1821  Rev.  David  Chassell  took 
charge  of  the  school  on  the  following  terms,  viz.  :  He  was  to  receive 
all  money  arising  from  tuition  and  all  received  from  the  Regents,  ex- 
cept what  was  necessary  to  keep  the  buildings  in  repair.  He,  virtually, 
had  the  whole  management  of  the  school,  having  the  use  of  the  build- 
ings free  of  rent.  After  remaining  three  years  Mr.  Chassell  left,  and 
Charles  Avery  took  the  school  on  similar  terms.  At  the  end  of  three 
years  he  retired  to  accept  the  professorship  of  mathematics  in  Hamilton 
College,  when  Dr.  Chassell  again  took  the  school  and  retained  the  sole 
management  until  1840. 

During  all  this  period  of  twenty  years,  since  the  retirement  of 
Dr.  McDonald,  the  school  had  kept  the  even  tenor  of  its  way,  main- 
taining its  reputation  as  one  of  the  very  best  secondary  schools  in  the 
State.  Mr.  Chassell  was  an  accomplished  scholar,  an  enthusiastic  teacher 
and  a  rigid  disciplinarian  ;  he  inspired  his  pupils  with  a  love  of  correct 
and  thorough  scholarship,  encouraged  them  in  their  ambitious  hopes 
and  a.spirations,  and  aided  them  in  every  way  consistent  with  his  ability. 
He  was  something  of  a  terror  to  the  idle  and  mischievous  boys,  but 
was  always  regarded  with  respect  and  reverence  by  the  energetic  and 
industrious  students. 

Mr.  Chassell  left  the  school  in  the  spring  of  184O  and  the  Board  of 
Trustees,  assuming  control,  employed  Rev.  Henry  Banister  as  principal 
During  this  year  the  "  Waterman  Building,"  known  afterward  as  the 
"  Wood  Building,"  was  hired  and  fitted  up,  and  in  the  fall  term  a  female 
department  was  organized,  with  Miss  Julia  A.  Baldwin  as  preceptress. 

In  the  summer  of  1844,  the  trustees  of  the  Medical  College  granted 
the  use  of  the  college  buildings  to  the  academy,  and  the  "South  College" 


TOWN  OK  FAIRFIELD.  309 

was  occupied  as  a  Female  Seminary  at  the  beginning  of  the  fall  term. 
From  this  time  the  academy  continued  its  usual  course  without  the 
occurrence  of  any  important  events  to  mark  its  history  until  1852. 
During  its  whole  existence  no  boarding  department  had  been  connected 
with  it ;  the  teachers  obtained  board  where  they  could,  the  principal  resid- 
ing with  his  family  in  the  village.  The  students  obtained  board  at  private 
houses,  formed  clubs  or  brought  food  from  home,  cooking  it  in  their 
rooms.  These  rooms  were  unfurnished  and  at  the  beginning  of  the 
year  often  untidy,  presenting  a  cheerless  and  forbidding  appearance 
to  the  newcomer.  In  1852  the  "  Laboratory  Building"  was  remodeled 
and  the  first  floor  converted  into  a  dining  hall  and  parlors,  with  kitchen 
in  the  rear;  the  two  floors  above  being  made  into  two  large  recitation 
rooms. 

In  1854,  inspired  by  the  enthusiastic  talk  of  Rev.  L.  D.  Stebbins,  the 
Board  of  Trustees  resolved  to  erect  a  new  building  on.  the  academy 
grounds,  provide  facilities  for  boarding  a  large  number  of  students  and 
advertise  the  school  as  a  boarding-school,  under  the  name  of  "Fairfield 
Classical  Academy  and  Female  Collegiate  Institute,"  and  also  make 
several  changes  in  the  methods  of  conducting  its  affairs.  By  extensive 
advertising  and  a  thorough  canvass  of  a  large  portion  of  the  State,  many 
students  were  secured,  and  on  November  8,  what  is  known  as  the  "  Big 
School "  opened.  The  buildings  were  filled  to  overflowing  and  the  ex- 
pectations of  Mr.  Stebbins  fully  realized,  but  the  low  prices  that  had 
been  fixed  for  board  and  tuition  were  insufficient  to  pay  expenses,  so  the 
rates  were  necessarily  raised,  which  caused  a  decrease  in  the  number  of 
students,  yet  it  was  still  large. 

On  account  of  the  large  school,  the  students  found  the  opportunities 
for  society  work  too  limited,  and  during  the  fall  term  of  1854  a  debating 
club  was  organized,  which,  after  a  few  weeks,  developed  into  the  Philo- 
rhetorean  Society. 

Mr.  Stebbins  soon  resigned  on  account  of  ill  health,  and  Rev.  J.  B. 
Van  Petten  became  principal.  Under  him  the  school  continued  large 
and  prosperous  until  the  beginning  of  the  Civil  War,  when  several  of 
the  teachers,  and  many  of  the  students  enlisted.  From  this  time  the 
academy,  though  the  numbers  were  less,  continued  its  usual  course  for 
many  years,  and  until  the  high  school  departments  of  the  union  schools 
so  reduced  the  number  of  students  that  its  prosperity  began  to  decline. 


310  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

In  1882  it  was  decided  to  obtain  money  on  subscription,  pay  up  all 
debts,  repair  the  buildings  and  entirely  reorganize  the  school.  A  stock- 
company  was  formed,  about  $5,000  were  raised  and  expended  and 
a  new  charter  obtained,  in  which  the  name  "  Fairfield  Seminary  "  was 
substituted  for  that  of  "Fairfield  Academy."  The  institution  was  first 
rented  to  Gen.  Van  Petten  and  afterwards  to  others  at  a  nominal  rent, 
but  for  various  reasons  the  school  was  not  a  success. 

In  1885  the  present  proprietors,  D.  D.  &  F.  L.  Warne,  obtained  pos- 
session of  the  school,  and  by  the  application  of  untiring  energy  and 
business  ability,  have  restored  it  to  its  former  standing  and  popularity. 
Every  means  has  been  employed  to  keep  the  school  in  line  with 
modern  methods  of  education  and  render  it  as  efficient  and  useful  as  of 
old.  In  1 89 1  the  War  Department  detailed  an  officer  to  Fairfield  for 
the  purpose  of  military  drill ;  a  fine  new  armor}'  was  built  and  a  military 
department  organized,  which  promises  to  add  to  the  success  and  pros- 
perity of  the  school.  Many  persons  have  been  educated  here,  who 
subsequently  became  prominent;  among  them  are  exjudge  Addi- 
son Gardner,  ex -Judge  Denio,  Prof  Foster,  of  Union  College,  ex- Senator 
A.  M.  Mills,  and  Jean  R,  Stebbins. 

Churches.  —  Fairfield  Central  Society  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
Church  was  organized  P'ebruary  i,  1836,  with  Amos  Sherwood,  Thomas 
A.  Rice,  Lina  E.  Ford,  John  Green  and  William  Lamberson  as  trustees. 
Rev.  E.  W.  A.  Allen  was  the  pastor.  The  present  house  of  worship  was 
dedicated  in  July,  1837,  and  about  the  same  time  F"airfield  was  set  off 
from  Herkimer  circuit,  and  made  a  station.  Rev.  George  Gary  was 
presiding  elder,  and  Rev.  Aaron  Adams  was  pastor  at  that  time,  and 
the  same  persons  that  composed  the  board  of  trustees  were  also  elected 
a  board  of  stewards.  The  following  named  clergymen  have  served  as 
pastors  of  Fairfield  station  and  in  the  order  named  : 

Rev.  Messrs.  Aaron  Adams,  Isaac  L.  Hunt,  Albert  D.  Peek,  John  Loveys,  A.  W. 
Cummings,  F.  H.  Stanton,  L.  D.  Stebbins,  Aaron  Adams,  J.  F.  Dayan,  Isaac  Turney, 
J.  C.  Vandercook,  George  G.  Hapgood,  W.  I.  Hunt,  C.  H.  Austin,  B.  E.  Whipple,  J. 
F.  Dayan,  Lewis  Meredith,  Pomeroy  Wright,  W.  H.  Anable,  Harlow  Skeele,  W.  F. 
Tooke,  C.  W.  Parsons,  T.  H.  McClenthan,  J.  C.  Stewart,  Mr.  Babcock,  M.  G.  Wads- 
worth,  L.  B.  Gray,  J.  L.  Short,  and  H.  M.  Church.  The  present  trustees  are :  E.  C. 
Rice,  Milton  Ford,  Morgan  A.  Reese,  James  W.  Ford,  E.  B.  Fairchild,  D.  C.  Reese,  and 
M.  A.  Barnes. 


,'^-xn 


TOWN  OF     FAIRFIELD.  311 

A  meeting  of  a  number  of  Episcopalians  of  Fairfield  was  held  on  the 
5th  of  January,  1807,  and  the  following  persons  were  chosen  as  officers 
of  a  society  :  Wardens,  Andrew  A.  Bartow  and  Jonathan  Hallett ; 
vestrymen,  Stodard  Squires,  Charles  Ward,  Elijah  Blanchard,  William 
Wal<ley,  Peter  Ward,  Philip  Paine,  Joseph  Teall  and  Abiel  Burnett. 
The  name  of  "  Trinity  Church  of  the  Town  of  Fairfield  "  was  adopted. 
The  lot  on  which  the  church  stands  was  purchased  of  Richard  Smith  in 
September,  1808,  and  the  house  was  consecrated  October  28,  1809. 
The  list  of  pastors  is  not  available. 

The  Village  of  Middleville  —  Is  situated  on  West  Canada  Creek,  on 
the  western  border  of  the  town,  and  extends  across  the  creek  into  New- 
port; but  a  large  share  of  the  business  portion  is  in  the  town  of  Fairfield. 
The  land  on  which  this  village  stands  was  owned  in  early  times  by 
Richard  Kimball,  and  was  sold  by  him  to  Sheffield  Kinyon  (or  Ken- 
yon)  John  McMichael,  an  early  settler,  erected  the  first  building  on 
the  site  of  the  present  Spellman  House;  it  was  kept  as  a  public  house, 
and  another  was  kept  in  1807  by  Samuel  Stevens,  nearly  opposite  where 
George  Griswold  now  lives.  In  1808  a  Mr.  Streeter  had  a  blacksmith 
shop  on  the  site  of  the  dwelling  and  store  of  W.  W.  Mosher  (the  store 
now  occupied  by  H.  E.  &  D.  G.  Jackson),  and  about  that  time  Eber 
Stevens  also  had  a  shop.  The  first  bridge  across  the  West  Canada 
Creek  was  built  in  1810  by  Jacob  Wiltsie,  and  in  the  same  year  he 
erected  a  saw- mill  on  the  site  where  a  mill  has  stood  for  many  years. 
In  the  same  year  a  grist- mill  was  also  built  on  the  site  of  the  present 
one,  by  a  stock  company.  The  first  school-house  was  built  in  1813. 
Under  the  union  free  school  system  the  present  commodious  house  was 
erected.     The  school  is  now  a  graded  one,  with  A.  B.  Crim  as  principal. 

Kanata  Knitting- Mills. — The  subscription  list  for  a  manufacturing 
company  was  started  January  10,  1814,  the  company  to  be  known  as 
the  Herkimer  Manufacturing  Company,  capital  $40,000,  divided  in  400 
shares  of  $iOO  each,  to  be  paid  in  installments  of  $8.50  every  three 
months  until  paid  in  full.  The  company  was  organized  to  manufacture 
wool,  cotton,  flax,  and  iron; -the  money  subscribed  to  be  used  in  pur- 
chasing six  acres  of  land  at  $50  per  acre,  widening  canal,  repairing 
dam,  erecting  buildings,  buying  machinery  and  stock.  The  certificate 
of  incorporation   was  dated  January  27,  1814,  and  was  filed  in  the  sec- 


312  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

retary  of  state's  office  February  i,  1814,  with  the   following  as  stock- 
holders: 

James  Haile,  George  Kretsinger,  Bela  Ward,  Roland  Sears,  Jed  Baldwin,  Joseph 
Lawton,  Oliver  Ellis,  John  Burton,  Clark  Smith,  Linus  Evarts,  Richard  Buslinell,  Wy- 
inan  Eaton,  Nathaniel  Carpenter;-  and  the  following  were  named  as  trustees  for  one 
year:  George  Kretsinger,  Oliver  Ellis,  James  Haile,  Bela  Ward,  Clark  Smith,  John 
Burton  and  Nathaniel  Carpenter. 

The  dam  across  the  West  Canada  Creek  was  already  built  b\'  the 
grist-mill  company,  and  a  raceway  leading  from  the  dam  to  grist- mill 
furtlier  down  the  creek.  The  Herkimer  Manufacturing  Company 
widened  the  raceway  to  their  property  to  about  double  its  former  width 
and  erected  a  stone  building  of  five  stories  60  by  ^6  feet,  and  a  wing  60 
by  28  feet  of  two  stories,  the  end  of  the  wing  being  used  as  a  store. 
They  put  in  machinery  for  the  manufacture  of  cotton  sheeting,  bed- 
ticking,  ropes,  and  bunting;  they  also  made  scythes,  axes,  pitchforks, 
and  hoes.  The  above  continued  in  existence  imtil  March  18,  1834, 
when  it  was  dissolved  by  the  chancellor  of  New  York  State,  bj'  peti- 
tion of 

William  H.  Gordon,  Varnum  S.  Kenyon,  Alexander  H.  Buel,  Samuel  Griswold,  and 
John  Farmer  as  trustees;  Zina  Kelsey,  Clark  Smith,  John  Green,  Caleb  Sheldon,  Ste- 
phen Ayres,  David  Ford,  Henry  Ellison,  Edward  T.  Cheever,  Benjamin  Jenks,  Silas 
Thompson,  Norman  Butler,  William  M.  Cheever,  John  Farrington,  executor  of  Amos 
Farrington's  estate;  Truman  Cole,  administrator  of  John  Cole's  estate;  Stephen  F. 
Carpenter,  administrator  Nathaniel  Carpenter's  estate ;  Catherine  Kretsinger,  adminis- 
tratrix, and  Abijah  Mann,  jr.,  administrator  of  George  Kretsinger's  estate;  and  Aaron 
Griswold,  executor  of  Benoni  Ford,  stockholders. 

James  B.  Hunt  was  appointed  receiver,  and  the  property  was  sold  by 
him  at  auction  July  5,  1834,  to  Henry  Ellison,  J6hn  Farrington,  and 
Simeon  Osborne,  for  $8,850.  John  Farrington  purchased  the  interest 
of  his  partners  about  the  year  1836,  and  sold  out  to  Varnum  S.  Ken- 
yon April  8,  1844.  The  business  was  now  confined  to  the  manufacture 
of  cotton  cloth  exclusively,  and  in  1865  the  mill  was  enlarged  by  an  ad- 
dition to  the  main  building  of  50  by  36  feet,  five  stories;  also  an  addi- 
tion to  the  wing,  increasing  the  output  about  double.  Mr.  Kenyon 
conducted  the  business  very  successfully  until  his  death,  which  occurred 
in  1873,  and  the  business  was  continued  by  the  executors  of  his  estate 
for  two  years  after,  and  May  5,  1880,  the  property  was  sold  by  them  to 


'      ^  TOWN  OF  FAIRFIELD.  313 

B.  W.  Nichols  and  W.  W.  Montgomery.  June  29,  1881,  Nichols  sold 
his  interest  to  Montgomery.  September  18,  1886,  the  property  was 
purchased  by  Etlwin  J.  Nelson  and  Wm.  F.  Lansing,  and  the  cotton 
machinery  was  taken  out,  and  after  many  alterations  and  repairs,  the 
mill  was  fitted  up  for  a  knitting- mill,  with  woolen  cards  and  all  the 
necessary  machinery  for  the  manufacture  of  knit  goods.  October  6, 
1890,  Edwin  J.  Nelson  purchased  the  interest  of  Wm.  F.  Lansing  and 
is  now  conducting  the  knitting  business.  The  knitting- mills  have  three 
sets  of  60-inch  cards,  1,300  spindles,  eighteen  knitting  machines,  thirty 
sewing  machines,  and  employ  100  hands. 

One  of  the  early  industries  of  Middleville  was  the  tannery  built  in 
1 8 14  by  John  Wood.  It  was  operated  by  him  until  about  1840,  when 
it  passed  to  possession  of  George  M.  Thomas.  He  continued  its  oper- 
ation until  his  death  in  1865,  when  his  son,  George  H.  Thomas,  became 
the  proprietor,  and  has  continued  as  such  to  the  present  time.  During 
this  long  period  the  establishment  has,  of  course,  passed  through  many 
changes  and  been  greatly  enlarged.  The  annual  product  is  now  about 
125,000  calf-skins. 

The  post-office  was  established  at  Middleville  in  18 16  with  William 
H.  Gordon  as  postmaster.  C.  L.  Earl  is  the  present  postmaster.  The 
first  store  was  built  by  Varnum  S.  Kenyon  where  H.  E.  &  D.  G.  Jack- 
son now  carry  on  trade.  In  1828  R.  G.  Marvin  started  a  clothiery 
where  the  railroad  machine  shops  are  located.  The  village  of  Middle- 
ville was  incorporated  in  1890  with  Wallace  W.  Mosher  as  the  first 
president;  he  was  succeeded  by  Edwin  J.  Nelson,  and  he  by  Dr.  Irv- 
ing S   Edsall. 

Churches. — The  "  Union  Religious  Society  of  Middleville"  was  organ- 
nized  April  5,  1825,  with  the  following  trustees:  Sheffield  Kenyon,  Will- 
iam H.  Gordon,  Asahel  Harris,  Varnum  S.  Kenyon,  and  David  Ford. 
During  that  and  the  succeeding  year  the  society  erected  a  wooden  church 
which  was  dedicated  in  July,  1827.  A  committee  was  appointed  to  de- 
cide on  a  time  during  which  the  church  should  be  occupied  by  the  vari- 
ous denominations.  This  church  was  used  as  a  union  church  until 
about  1880,  services  in  the  latter  years  being  held  only  at  intervals. 
The  building  finally  passed  to  possession  of  the  Methodists  in  1880. 
40 


314  HISTORY  OP  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

The  First  Universalist  Society  of  Middleville  was  organized  Febru- 
ary lo,  1835,  by  Rev.  Joshua  Britten,  and  a  coristitution  and  articles  of 
membership  were  adopted.  The  subscribers  were  Climena  Scott,  Daniel 
Post,  Betsey  Post,  Jonathan  Potter,  Jeremiah  Potter,  John  and  Ira 
Farmer,  Bela  Ward,  Abigail  Farmer,  Benjamin  Keeler,  Daniel  H. 
Eastman,  and  W.  Weeden.  The  society  had  a  share  in  the  union 
church  until  it  was  sold  to  the  Methodists.  In  1882  the  new  church 
was  dedicated,  its  cost  being  about  $10,000. 

The  pastors  who  have  served  this  church  are  Rev.?.  Joshua  Britton,  M.  B.  Smith, 
H.  Hathavray,  T.  J.  Whitconib,  D.  C.  Toralin8on.  Dolphus  Skinner,  George  W.  Skinner, 

0.  D.  Haynes,  T.  D.  Cook,  L.  Holmes,  H.  K.  White,  H.  L.  Webster,  S.  R.  Ward,  R.  H. 
Aldrich,  E.  F.  Pember,  E.  B.  Burgess,  G.  W.  Powell,  Herbert  Wliitney,  and  Mary  T. 
Whitney,  who  was  the  last  regular  pastor.  The  church  for  a  few  years  has  been  sup- 
plied. The  officers  are:  Wardens.  A.  W.  Ford,  A.  L.  Petrie,  Henry  L.  Ward,  H.  J. 
Hildreth ;  treasurer,  A.  W.  Ford ;  clerk,  M.  C.  Crist. 

Episcopal  services  were  formerly  held  in  the  Union  church,  as  a  mis- 
sion of  the  Fairfield  church.  As  an  outgrowth  of  this  a  church  was  or- 
ganized in  1872  under  the  name  of  the  Church  of  the  Memorial.  A 
handsome  church  was  erected  in  187 1-2  at  a  cost  of  about  $10,000, 
and  the  rectory  has  a  value  of  about  $2,000.  The  same  rectors  have 
usually  served  this  church  and  the  Fairfield  society,  the  present  rector 
being  Rev.  Clarence  M.  Conant.  The  wardens  are  John  Molineux, 
treasurer,  C.  W.  Hamlin,  M.  D.,  secretary,  and  Geo.  W.  Griswold. 

The  Methodist  church  of  Middleville  was  organized  January  16, 
1836,  and  incorporated  February  i,  i88i.  In  1880  the  society  pur- 
chased the  old  Union  church  building,  which  they  removed,  remodeled 
and  thoroughly  repaired.     Services  are  now  conducted  in  it. 

The  trustees  are  James  F.  Whiting,  I  S.  Edsall  and  V.  S.  Farrington.     Stewards, 

1.  S.  Edsall,  "V.  S.  Farrington,  Lansing  Chase,  D.  R.  Martin,  W.  W.  Dickens,  Edward 
Reese,  Herman  Stroble.     The  present  pastor  is  Rev.  H.  M  Church. 

The  substantial  iron  bridge  across  West  Canada  Creek  was  built  in 
1888;  there  had  been  three  preceding  wooden  ones. 

The  grist-mill  is  owned  by  Dr.  D.  M.  Devendorf,  who  leases  it  to 
Wolcott  G.  Farmer.  The  population  of  the  village  is  about  800  and  is 
steadily  increasing. 

Following  is  a  list  of  the  supervisors  of  Fairfield  from  its  organization 
to  the  present  time  : 


^^Vr*^       ^  (^^ 


TOWN  OF  SALISBURY.  315 

1790-97,  John  Comins,  jr.;  1798,  Nathan  Smith;  1799,1801-4,  David  Biown; 
ISOO,  William  Lapham  ;  1805-10,  An  o.s  Haile ;  1811-12,  Willianj  f  miih  ;  181c-14, 
James  Haile  ;  1815,  John  Eaton  ;  1816-25,  1830-32,  William  Giiswold  ;  1826-29,  Nor- 
man Butler;  1833-34,  Hiram  Noiton ;  1835-37,  Abram  H.  Seeley  ;  1838-41,  A.  C.  H. 
Smith;  1842-43,  Thomas  A.  Rice;  1844,  Ale.xander  H.  Buell  ;  1845,  1846,  1849, 
Hiram  Ayre.';;  1847-48,  Parley  Arnold;  1850-51,  1856,  Lauren  B.Arnold;  1852-53, 
David  W.Cole;  1854,  Samuel  Green ;  1855,  Samuel  C.  Franklin  ;  1857,  Griffin  Sweet ; 
1858-59,  Morgan  L.Churchill;  1860-Gl,  Sideneus  Teall ;  1862-63,  Alfred  E.  Varney  ; 
1864-65,  John  Green  ;  1866,  Albert  G.  Ford  ;  1867,  Morgan  C.  Crist;  1868-70,  Eleazer 
C.  Rice;  1871-72,  Albigenoe  W.  Ford:  1873-74,  Daniel  B.  Arnold;  1875-78,  WiUiam 
W.  Mosher:  1879,  1880,  Hiram  S.  Barnes;  1881,  1882,  George  H.Thomas;  1883, 
1884,  Milton  Ford;  1885,  Thomas  R.  Petrie  ;  1886-88,  Seymour  C.  Bishop  ;  1889-91, 
George  H.  Thomas;   1892,  John  Fields. 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

THE   TOWN    OF    SALISBURY. 

THIS  is  one  of  the  largest  towns  in  Herkimer  county,  having  an 
area  of  more  than  68,00O  acres.  It  embraces  a  part  of  the  Jersey- 
field  patent,  and  portions  of  the  first,  second  and  fourth  allotments 
of  the  Royal  Grant.  The  surface  of  the  northern  part  of  the  town 
is  rough  and  mountainous  and  not  thickly  settled,  while  the  southern 
part  is  hilly  and  well  adapted  to  grazing.  The  principal  streams 
are  the  East  Canada  Creek,  which  forms  a  part  of  the  east  boundary, 
and  Spruce  Creek,  which  flows  through  the  southwest  and  southern 
parts.  The  soil  is  generally  a  sandy  and  clayey  loam.  Beds  of  iron 
ore  exist  in  some  parts  and  have  been  worked  to  some  extent.  The 
formation  of  the  town  occurred  on  March  3,  1797,  when  it  was  taken 
from  Palatine,  and  on  the  17th  of  April,  1817,  it  was  annexed  to 
Herkimer  county  from  Montgomery  county;  it  lies  on  the  eastern  bor- 
der of  the  county  and  extends  into  the  great  northern  wilderness. 

Salisbury  received  its  name  from  Salisbury,  Conn.,  whence  came 
many  of  the  early  settlers.  Of  the  early  settlement  of  the  town  Mr. 
Benton  thus  wrote  : 

This  town  was  peopled  before  the  Revolution,  with  several  families  of  tories  or  per- 
sons friendly  to  the  crown,  although    they  may  not   have  committed  any  overt  act  of 


316  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

treason  against  the  colonies.  Living  on  the  Royal  Grant,  they  were,  no  doubt,  the 
tenants  of,  or  went  there  under  the  protection  of  the  Johnson  family.  They  were 
allowed  to  rtmain  unmolested  by  the  Indians  and  tories  during  the  whole  war ;  but 
when  the  couiniissionersof  forfeitures,  in  1784,  claimed  the  grant  as  tlie  property  of 
the  State,  they  may  not  have  esteemed  the  protection  of  their  royalist  landlords  as  of 
much  value,  or  their  titles,  if  they  held  any,  as  securing  to  them  "  an  indefeasible 
estate  of  inheritance."  One  of  these  people,  named  Johnson,  lived  on  lot  iiumber  154, 
in  the  first  allotment,  Royal  Grant,  on  the  road  between  the  old  Salisbury  meeting- 
house and  the  Four  Corners.  Daniel  Lobdell,  another  of  them,  lived  in  the  westerly 
part  of  the  town,  about  one  mile  southerly  of  the  old  Salisbury  meeting-house. 

These  parties  were  conveniently  located,  to  suit  the  purposes  and  accompli.^h  the 
objects,  of  those  who  planted  them  on  the  direct  route  from  the  Mohawk  valley  to 
the  head  waters  of  the  Black  River.  Here  the  disaffected  could  congregate  in  safety, 
and  mature  their  plans  of  mischief;  and  from  these  points,  runners  could  be  dispatched 
to  hover  round  the  out-settlements,  collect  information,  watch  the  movement  of  troops 
in  the  valley,  and  even  spy  out  what  was  going  on  at  the  block-houses  and  stockades, 
and  outside  of  the  principal  forts;  and  here,  too,  straggling  parties  of  the  enemy  re- 
ceived aid  and  comfort  and  were  seasonably  notified  of  whatever  was  important  for 
them  to  know,  and  within  the  power  of  these  people  to  give. 

Old  Mr.  Lobdell  had  four  or  five  sons  wlio,  at  an  early  period  of  the  war,  went  to 
Canada  with  a  party  of  Indians  and  remained  there  until  after  peace  was  declared. 

A  controversy  as  to  some  of  these  lands  gave  rise  to  a  litigation  in 
i860,  as  appears  by  the  case  of  McKinnon  vs.  Bliss,  21  New  York 
Reports,  206. 

A  few  New  England  families  probably  located  in  this  town  before 
1788,  and  between  that  date  and  1794  the  immigration  was  quite  rapid. 
The  Salisbury  meeting-house,  a  historic  structure,  was  erected  during 
the  last  named  year.  Jabez  Ayers  built  the  first  frame  dwelling  in 
the  town.  The  following  families  were  among  the  early  settlers: 
Avery,  Cook,  Hackley,  Hallett,  Todd,  Hopson,  Burrell  and  Water- 
man. In  1801,  according  to  Rev.  Caleb  Alexander,  who  then  visited 
the  town,  the  population  was  1,694. 

The  first  town  meeting  was  held  April  4,  1797,  and  the  following  is 
a  record  of  the  proceedings  : 

Agreeable  to  statute,  the  freeholders  and  inhabitants  of  the  town  of  Salisbury  con- 
vened at  the  house  of  Aaron  Hackley,  esq.,  on  Tuesday,  the  4th  day  of  April,  1797. 
Cornelius  Humphrey  and  Aaron  Hackley,  esqs.,  superintended  the  meeting.  Polls 
opened  and  proceeded  to  put  in  the  town  ofiicers,  and  the  following  were  cho.sen,  that 
is  to  say  ;  Cornelius  Humphrey,  esq.,  supervisor  ;  Eliphalet  Taylor,  town  clerk  ;  Abijah 
Ford,  Samuel  Bennet,  Jonathan  Cole,  assessors;  Jonathan  Hallett,  William  Lee,  jr., 


TOWN  OF  SALISBURY.  317 

and  Joseph  Munson,  commissioners  of  highways;  Nathaniel  Curtip,  constahlc  nnd  cd- 
lector;  Stephen  Todd,  jr.,  constable;  Reynolds  Cahoon  and  Jabez  Ayers,  overseers  of 
the  poor ;  Augustus  Thorp,  Stutley  Can  and  Caleb  Bates,  commissioners  of  schools ; 
Eleazer  Can,  Jabez  Tuttle  and  Joseph  Tuttle,  fence  viewers  and  appraisers  of  dam- 
ages;  Joseph  Cahoon  and  Alexander  Ayers,  poundmasters.  The  entire  town  at  that 
time  contained  only  thirteen  road  districts,  and  one  overseer  was  elected  for  each  dis- 
trict. 

Other  proceedings  of  this  and  succeeding  early  meetings  consisted  of 
the  customary  regulations  for  restriction  of  roving  animals,  selhng 
liquors,  etc.  In  this  connection  the  following  entry  is  of  interest  as  in- 
dicating who  were  early  merchants  and  what  they  had  to  contend  with 
for  violating  the  law : 

Be  it  remembered  that  on  the  15th  day  of  January,  1798,  Jo.seph  Cahoon  and  Isaiah 
Kenyon,  merchants  of  the  town  of  Salisbury,  county  of  Montgomery  and  Stale  of  New 
York,  were  this  day  convicted  before  me,  Cornelius  Humphrey,  one  of  the  justices  of  the 
peace  of  said  county,  for  retailing,  on  the  9lh  day  of  this  instant — January — and  at 
several  other  times,  at  their  store  in  the  town  aforesaid,  gin  and  other  spirituous  liquors 
by  small  measure  to  be  drank  in  their  house,  without  having  a  license  or  such  permit  in 
their  house,  out-house,  yard  or  garden,  or  without  having  entered  into  such  recogni- 
zance as  is  mentioned  in  the  act  entitled  "an  act  to  lay  a  duty  of  excise  on  strong 
liquors  and  for  the  better  regulating  of  inns  and  taverns,"  passed  March  1st,  1788. 

Given  under  my  hand  and  seal  the  loth  day  of  January,  1708. 

Cornelius  Humphrey,  J.  P. 

Following  is  a  list  of  the  supervisors  of  Salisbury  from  its  organiza- 
tion to  the  present  time  : 

Cornelius  Humphrey,  1797-99;  Samuel  Bennett,  1800;  Jonathan  Hallett,  1801-02; 
Cornelius  Drake,  1803-05;  Alvah  Southworth,  1806-13;  Stephen  Todd,  1814,  1820-22. 
'1824;  Elijah  Ford,  1815;  Isaac  Sears,  1816;  John  D.  Waterman,  1817-19;  Jeremiah 
Drake,  1823,  1825,  1829  ;  Abraham  Marsh,  1826-27  ;  Abial  Pratt,  1828  ;  Henry  Water- 
man, 1830-31;  George  W.  Alton,  1832-30,  1839;  Eliakim  Sherrill,  1837-38;  At  water 
Cook,  1840-41;  Hiram  Hadley,  1842-44;  George  Avery,  1845;  Ira  Comstock,  1846; 
Truman  Bliss,  1847-48;  Harry  Burrell,  1849  ;  Lorenzo  Carryl,  1850;  B.  Avery,  1851- 
52;  Daniel  A.  Northrup,  1853  55,  1859,  1860;  James  J.  Cook,  1856-58,  1877-78; 
James  H.  Ives,  1861-64;  Milton  B.  Avery,  1865-66;  George  L.  Byington,  1867-69; 
John  Ives,  1870-71;  W.  P.  Burrell,  1872-73;  Volney  Hopson,  1874;  Ormel  Leavitt, 
1875-77;  J.  J.  Cook,  1878-79;  Frank  H.  Loucks,  1880-82;  Charles  L.  Ives,  1883-84; 
William  H.  Cramer,  1885-80;   Warren  H.  Eaton,  1887-92. 

Among  the  few  families  who  settled  in  this  town  during  the  Revolu- 
tion were  John  Faville  and  Cornelius  Lamberson,  both  natives  of  New 
Jersey.      Faville   was   born  in  1749,  and  in  eaily  life  was   engaged   in 


318  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

boating  on  the  Mohawk  River.  He  settled  in  the  southwestern  part  of 
the  town  on  a  farm  owned  in  recent  years  by  Harry  Burrell.  His  son, 
William  Faville,  was  born  in  the  town  December  19,  1785.  In  1795  he 
removed  to  the  northwestern  part  of  Manheim,  where  he  erected  a 
grist  mill  previous  to  1800.  He  was  the  father  of  eight  sons  and  four 
daughters,  most  of  wi)om  located  in  Salisbury  and  Manheim.  The 
family  has  always  been  a  prominent  one  in  the  eastern  part  of  the 
county.  Cornelius  Lamberson  settled  on  the  farm  owned  recently  by 
his  grandson,  Joshua  W.  Lamberson,  in  the  southern  part  of  the  town. 
He  reared  a  family  of  seven  sons  and  one  daughter.  He  was  father  of 
Addison  Lamberson,  now  of  Dolgeville. 

Major  Jonathan  Hallett  was  a  revolutionary  officer  and  settled  early 
in  the  town — about  1787,  in  the  western  part.  His  son,  Stephen,  was 
born  in  the  town  in  1787,  and  remained  a  resident  until  1 820,  when  he 
engaged  in  mercantile  business  in  Fairfield.  He  was  sheriff  of  the 
county  from  1821  to  1826. 

Jabez  Ayers  came  to  the  town  from  Massachusetts  in  the  spring  of 
1792,  settling  on  wild  land  near  the  site  of  Burrell's  Corners.  His  son, 
Stephen,  born  in  Braintree.  Mass.,  February  10,  1770,  came  here  with 
his  father,  and  later  settled  a  mile  or  more  west  of  him  in  what  is 
now  Fairfield.  He  was  a  practical  surveyor  and  located  many  of  the 
early  roads  in  this  section.  He  represented  the  county  in  the  Assembl)' 
in  1836,  and  died  in  1850. 

Stephen  Todd  came  from  Wallingford,  Conn.,  in  1792,  and  settled 
at  what  is  known  as  Diamond  Hill,  on  the  State  road.  His  son,  , 
Stephen,  jr.,  came  with  the  family  and  subsequently  studied  medicine 
and  was  for  many  years  one  of  the  leading  physicians  of  the  county. 
He  also  engaged  quite  extensively  in  agriculture  ;  was  elected  to  the 
Assembly  in  1821,  and  died  at  his  home  in  1827. 

Nathan  Metcalf  came  from  Berkshire  county,  Mass.,  and  settled  in  the 
extreme  southern  part  of  the  town  in  1794.  Abial  Pratt  came  here  in 
the  same  year  and  purchased  a  farm  of  Alvarius  Hopson.  A  year  later 
he  returned  to  Massachusetts,  but  in  1799  came  back  to  his  farm  which 
he  cleared  and  improved,  and  lived  upon  it  until  his  death  at  the  age  of 
ninety-two  years.  The  homestead  was  about  half  way  between  Salis- 
bury and    Salisbury  Center.      He  was  member   of  Assembly   in    1828. 


TOWN  OF  SALISBURY.  319 

Jonathan  Cole  came  with  Mr.  Pratt  in  1794,  and  settled  on  the  adjoin- 
ing farm,  where  he  resided  until  his  death.  He  was  one  of  the  first 
assessors  of  the  town.  Abijah  Ford  settled  early  in  1794  near  Diamond 
Hill,  opened  a  tavern  before  1800,  and  kept  it  until  his  death.  The 
early  town  meetings  were  held  at  his  house.  In  the  same  year  Asa 
Sheldon  settled  about  two  miles  west  of  the  site  of  Devereaux. 

Atwater  Cook,  a  native  of  Connecticut,  settled  in  Salisbury  early  in 
1795,  locating  first  at  what  is  known  as  Ives  Hollow,  and  subsequently 
on  a  farm  just  west  of  Salisbury  Corners.  His  son,  of  the  same  name, 
was  born  in  Salisbury,  December  17,  1795,  and  became  one  of  the  early 
successful  farmers  and  dairymen  and  one  of  the  prominent  and  influ- 
ential citizens  of  the  town.  He  was  for  many  years  a  justice  of  the 
peace;  was  supervisor,  and  in  1831  and  1839,  was  chosen  to  the  As- 
sembly. He  died  at  his  home  February  14,  1853.  His  son,  James  J. 
Cook,  was  born  July  13,  1822,  and  also  became  one  of  the  prominent 
citizens  of  the  town.  He  was  sheriff  of  the  county  from  1859  to  1861, 
and  for  many  years  a  member  of  the  board  of  supervisors.  During  the 
War  of  the  Rebellion  he  held  the  office  of  United  States  provost  mar- 
shal for  this  Congressional  district,  and  at  the  time  of  his  death  was  a 
member  of  the  committee  for  the  construction  of  the  new  county  build- 
ings.     He  died  at  Salisbury,  September  4,  1880. 

Aaron  Hackley  came  from  Wallingford,  Conn.,  in  1795  and  settled 
at  what  is  now  known  as  Burrell's  Corners,  where  he  carried  on  a  store 
and  a  tavern.      He  was  one  of  the  first  justices  of  the  town. 

Silas  Thompson  was  a  native  of  Chesterfield,  N  H.,  and  for  a  time 
drove  the  six  yoke  teams  of  oxen  in  hauling  boats  on  the  river  around 
the  rapids  at  Little  Falls.  In  the  fall  of  1795  he  came  to  Salisbury  and 
soon  afterward  purchased  the  farm  now  owned  by  the  estate  of  William 
J.Thompson.      He  died  in  1858. 

Joseph  Munson  and  Moses  De  Witt  came  from  Connecticut  in  1795 
and  settled  on  farms  near  Salisbury  Corners.  Other  early  settlers  were 
Cornelius  Humphrey,  Eliphalet  Taylor,  Samuel  Bennett,  and  William 
Lee,  who  became  permanent  and  useful  citizens  and  left  descendants. 

Amos  Ives  was  a  native  of  Wallingford,  Conn.,  and  came  to  Salis- 
bury in  the  spring  of  1795,  settling  about  two  miles  north  of  Salisbury 
Corners,  where  he  was  a  successful  farmer.      He  died  at  the  residence  of 


320  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

his  son  at  Salisbury  Corners  in  March,  184 1.  He  was  father  of  seven 
sons  and  one  daughter.  Truman  Ives  was  his  youngest  son  and  was 
three  years  old  when  iiis  father  settled  in  Salisbury.  He  learned  the 
trade  of  wool- carding  and  cloth-dressing  and  in  1818  established  that 
business  about  half  a  mile  north  of  Salisbury  Corners,  which  he  success 
fully  carried  on  until  i860.  He  was  also  an  extensive  farmer  and 
owned  a  large  estate,  which  he  transferred  to  his  sons,  John  and  James 
H.,  in  i860.  Anson  Ives  was  an  elder  brother  of  Truman,  and  the  fol- 
lowing interesting  reminiscences  were  published  by  the  Little  Falls 
Journal  and  Courier  in  1876,  in  a  reference  to  him  : 

He  was  a  son  of  Amos  and  Lucy  Ives,  and  was  born  in  Wallingford,  Conn.,  March 
19,  1785.  He  was  the  fifth  of  a  family  of  eight  children.  Amos,  Ambrose,  Simeon, 
Lucy.  Anson,  Orren,  Samuel  and  Truman,  all  of  whom  are  now  deceased  except  Tru- 
man, tlie  youngest,  who  is  in  vigorous  health  at  eighty-six.  AH  lived  to  a  ripe  old 
age.  This  familj-  of  ten  persons  removed  from  their  home  in  Connecticut  to  this 
county  in  May,  1795,  coming  the  whole  distance  in  a  cart  drawn  by  two  oxen  and  one 
horse.  The  journey  to  Little  Falls  required  fourteen  days.  From  this  place  to  Salis- 
bury was  almost  an  unbroken  wilderness,  the  route  having  to  be  followed  by  marked 
trees.  They  were  one  day  in  going  two  miles,  and  put  up  for  the  night  at  a  tavern 
kepi  by  a  maa  by  the  name  of  Doxtater,  a  short  distance  north  of  the  present  resi- 
dence of  Chaunoey  Cook.  On  the  next  day  they  reached  Burrell's  Corners  and  tarried 
over  night  in  the  small  red  house  (still  standing)  just  east  of  the  old  church  which  was 
burned  fifteen  or  eighteen  years  ago.  The  day  following  they  arrived  at  the  happy 
home  of  Atwater  Cook,  the  elder,  grandfather  of  James  J.  Cook,  esq.,  who  admitted 
them  to  a  share  in  his  log  cabin.  Here  they  resided  several  months,  until  they  could 
erect  a  log  house  of  their  own  on  a  lot  adjoining,  purchased  of  Mr.  Cook.  They  had 
all  been  neighbors  and  intimate  friends  in  Connecticut.  Anson  while  yet  a  boy  left 
his  father's  house  and  went  to  Greene  county,  where  he  :esided  five  years.  From 
there  he  went  to  Onondaga  county,  N.  Y.,  where  he  and  two  other  brothers  contracted 
to  chop  eight  hundred  cords  of  wood.  Here  he  was  drafted  into  the  United  States 
service  and  stationed  at  0.swego,  remaining  there  till  peace  was  declared.  For  this 
service  he  received  a  land  warrant  for  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  land  and  a  pen- 
sion of  $12  per  month  to  the  time  of  his  decease. 

It  is  from  the  Ives  family  that  Ives  Hollow  takes  its  name,  and 
there  John  and  James  H.  Ives  established  several  industries.  They 
became  very  large  land  owners,  engaged  e-xtensively  in  dairying,  owned 
large  interests  in  several  cheese  factories,  carried  on  mills  and  also  ex- 
tended their  business  operations  into  other  parts  of  the  country.  John 
Ives  was  twice  supervisor  of  the  town  and  James  H.  held  the  same 
office  four  terms  and  was  sheriff  of  the  county. 


TOWN  OF  SALISBURY.  321 

Alvarius  Hopson  came  from  Wallingford,  Conn.,  to  Salisbury  in  1793, 
bringing  a  large  family  with  him.  He  first  settled  about  a  mile  west  of 
Salisbury  Center,  but  in  the  following  year  sold  his  land  to  Jonathan 
Cole  and  Abial  Pratt  and  purchased  other  property  a  mile  southeast  of 
Salisbury  Center.  There  a  few  years  later  he  joined  with  Samuel  Bish- 
op and  built  a  saw- mill  on  Spruce  Creek.  About  1799  he  sold  his 
farm  to  John  Marsh,  and  in  recent  years  the  place  was  occupied  by  the 
grandson  of  the  latter,  Abram  M.  Marsh;  it  is  now  occupied  by  G.  A. 
Marsh.  Mr.  Hopson  soon  afterward  settled  permanently  a  little  south 
of  Salisbury  Center,  where  he  died  about  1825.  He  was  the  father  of 
six  sons  and  five  daughters,  and  his  descendants  became  prominent  cit- 
izens of  this  county.  E.  R.  Hopson,  now  of  Dolgeville,  is  a  great-grand- 
son of  Alvarius  Hopson.  His  grandfather's  name  was  David,  one  of  the 
six  sons  of  Alvarius,  and  his  father  was  James  (2d)  who  was  born  in  1 800 
and  died  in  i860.  The  family  of  E.  R.  Hopson  consists  of  Elton  J., 
born  June  30,  185  i  ;  George  D.,  born  December  30,  1855;  Mary  E., 
born  December  13,  1858,  now  wife  of  James  F.  Weatherwax.  Mr.  Hop- 
son  has  taken  the  lead  in  this  vicinity  in  dairying  operations,  and  when 
the  Cold  Brook  cheese  factory  was  established  in  1863,  he  became  part 
owner  and  sole  manager  of  it.  The  product  of  the  factory  ranked  as 
first  class.  Mr.  Hopson  enjoys  the  confidence  and  respect  of  the  entire 
community.  James  Hopson  was  also  a  son  of  Alvarius,  and  came  with 
his  father  to  Salisburj'.  He  was  an  early  merchant  and  farmer  and  an 
influential  citizen  of  the  town.  His  son,  Cornelius  D.  Hopson,  was  a 
farmer  and  died  in  1864.  He  left  four  children,  all  of  whom  now  reside 
in  Kansas,  except  Martha  C,  who  married  P.  W.  Casler,  living  at  Lit- 
tle Falls.  Other  later  members  of  several  of  these  families  have  re- 
moved from  the  town. 

Among  others  of  this  town  who  are  worthy  of  mention  in  connection 
with  its  growth  and  development  are  Jonathan  Burrell,  an  early  settler 
at  Burrell's  Corners.  His  son,  W.  F.  Burrell,  who  was  born  there  in 
1S18,  became  the  proprietor  of  Burrell's  mills  at  that  place  and  was  ex- 
tensively engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  cheese-boxes,  broom  handles, 
lumber,  etc.  He  was  for  years  a  member  of  the  firm  of  Burrell,  Ives  & 
Co.,  extensive  makers  of  cheese-box  material  in  this  State  and  Michi- 
gan. He  was  supervisor  of  the  town  in  1872  and  1873. 
a 


322  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Orren  Tanner  was  born  in  Salisbury  in  1806,  and  spent  most  of  his 
life  as  a  successful  farmer.  He  had  seven  children.  His  wife  was  a 
daughter  of  Alvarius  Hopson. 

William  J.  Thompson  was  born  in  Salisbury  in  18 19  and  was  reared 
on  the  farm  on  which  he  passed  his  life.  His  father  was  Silas  Thomp- 
son, before  mentioned,  one  of  the  pioneers  of  the  town. 

Among  the  pioneers  from  Connecticut  who  settled  in  Herkimer  coun- 
ty was  Noah  Smith.  He  located  in  the  town  of  Norway  and  had  a  son 
Samuel,  who  settled  in  the  town  of  Salisbury  in  1822,  where  he  is  still 
living  at  the  great  age  of  ninety-three  years,  in  the  enjoyment  of  the 
respect  of  the  community.  George  W.  Smith,  the  well-known  attorney 
of  Herkimer,  is  a  son  of  Samuel,  and  was  born  in  Salisbury  in  1823. 
He  left  that  town  in  1844,  studied  law  with  Capron  &  Lake  in  Little 
Falls  and  with  Judge  Graves  of  Herkimer  and  was  admitted  in  1848. 
During  the  following  three  years  he  was  editor  of  the  Northern  State 
Journal  at  Watertown,  and  then  settled  in  Roonville  and  began  practice. 
He  was  elected  county  judge  of  Oneida  county  in  1859  and  in  i860 
removed  to  Utica,  but  returned  to  Boonville  two  years  later.  He  re- 
mained there  until  1870,  when  he  settled  permanently  in  Herkimer  and 
has  been  in  practice  there  since.  In  1876  he  was  nominated  by  the 
Democrats  for  Congress  but  was  defeated,  although  he  ran  ahead  of  his 
ticket  in  Herkimer  county,  and  was  again  defeated  for  the  same  office 
in  1886.  In  1880  he  was  a  delegate  to  the  Cincinnati  convention,  and 
in  1882  was  elected  to  the  Assembly,  where  he  was  distinguished  for 
his  clear  style  and  eloquent  speeches. 

Sketches  of  many  other  residents  of  the  town  will  be  found  in  a  later 
department  of  this  work. 

The  first  mill  of  any  kind  in  operation  in  this  town  was  a  saw-mill 
built  about  1795  by  John  Garner  on  Spruce  Creek  about  half  a  mile 
north  of  Salisbury  Corners,  which  locality  bears  the  name  of  Ives  Hol- 
low. The  site  has  had  a  mill  ever  since,  which  was  in  possession  of  J. 
&  J.  H.  Ives  and  is  now  carried  on  by  the  latter.  The  first  grist-mill  in 
the  town  was  erected  about  1800  by  George  Spencer,  near  Diamond 
Hill,  on  a  small  tributary  of  Spruce  Creek.  This  mill,  although  it  was 
of  great  convenience  for  a  time,  was  not  long-lived  on  account  of  the 
failure  of  the  stream.       A  second  mill  was  built  not  long  after  the  first. 


TOWN  OF  SALISBURY.  323 

by  Cornelius  Humphrey,  on  Spruce  Creek  about  one  and  a  half  miles 
north  of  Salisbury  Corners.  Zophar  Tuttle,  from  Wolcott,  Mass.,  who 
came  herein  1798,  was  the  first  miller  here  and  he  and  Friend  Cook 
subsequently  purchased  it.     The  mill  was  operated  nearly  fifty  years. 

About  the  year  1805  Dr.  Stephen  Todd  started  a  distillery  at  Dia- 
mond Hill,  taking  this  means  of  using  the  grain  that  he  was  forced  to 
accept  in  payment  for  his  services.  The  business  was  profitable  and, 
as  usual  in  such  circumstances,  others  embarked  in  it,  so  that  by  about 
181 5  there  were  five  distilleries  in  the  town,  and  all  doing  a  lucrative 
business.  As  grain  raising  declined,  these  industries  were  abandoned 
and  the  last  one  has  disappeared. 

The  first  tavern,  kept  by  Aaron  Hackley  in  1795  at  what  is  Burrell's 
Corners,  has  been  mentioned  ;  he  also  kept  the  first  store  there.  Abijah 
Ford  opened  the  second  tavern  at  Diamond  Hill,  and  about  1800 
Nathaniel  Dibble  opened  the  third  about  a  mile  east  of  Salisbury  Cen- 
ter. Joseph  Cahoon  and  Isaiah  Kenyon  were  merchants  in  the  town  as 
early  as   1797. 

The  first  road  laid  out  in  this  town,  as  shown  by  the  records,  was 
under  date  of  May  15,  1797,  by  Jonathan  Hallett,  Joseph  Munson, 
and  William  I.ee,  jr.,  commissioners.  It  is  the  road  now  running 
from  the  west  line  of  the  town  to  Burrell's  Corners,  Salisbury  Cor- 
ners, Salisbury  Center,  and  thence  to  Devereaux.  The  State  road, 
so  called,  running  from  Johnstown  to  the  Black  River  country, 
crosses  the  southwest  part  of  Salisbury.  The  road  from  Salisbury 
Center  north  to  Jerseyfield  Lake  and  thence  to  Morehouse,  in  Hamilton 
county,  was  laid  out  in  1845.  The  Manheim  and  Salisbury  Flank  Road 
Company  was  chartered  December  23,  1848,  and  the  charter  was 
renewed  in  1878  for  thirty  years  more.  The  road  ran  from  Little  Falls 
through  the  northwesterly  part  of  Salisbury  to  Gray,  in  the  town  of 
Norway.  The  Little  Falls  and  Salisbury  plank  road,  running  from  the 
former  place  through  Salisbury  Center  to  Devereaux  was  built  in  1848. 
These  roads  are  substantially  abandoned  as  far  as  plank  toll  roads  are 
concerned. 

The  dairy  interest  in  this  town  has  been  and  is  important,  although 
not  so  much  so  as  formerly.  Salisbury  is  one  of  the  towns  claiming  the 
introduction  of  this  industry,  Atwater  Cook  and  Dr.  Todd  being  the  first 


324  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COtJNTt. 

to  practically  abandon  grain  growing  and  turn  their  attention  to  grazing. 
For  many  years  each  farmer  made  his  own  cheese,  but  the  era  of  cheese 
factories  came,  and  in  this  town  they  were  especially  prosperous.  The 
Avery  &  Ives  cheese  factory,  two  miles  east  of  Salisbury,  was  built  in 
1862,  and  for  several  years  its  product  reached  200,000  pounds.  The 
Cold  Brook  factory  was  established  in  the  spring  of  1863  by  E.  R. 
Hobson,  J.  D.  Lamberson  and  the  Ives  brothers.  Cook,  Ives  &  Co.'s  fac- 
tory at  Salisbury  Corners  was  built  in  1865  ;  the  factory  at  Burrell's 
Corners  in  1869,  and  the  Beaver  Creek  factory,  near  Diamond  Hill,  in 
1873.     There  are  now  three  factories  in  operation  in  the  town. 

BiirrelCs  Corners. — This  locality,  once  known  as  "  Yankee  Corners," 
was  in  early  days  the  center  of  business  in  the  town.  It  received  its  name 
from  Jonathan  Burrell,  who  came  from  Berkshire  county,  Mass.,  and 
permanently  located  here  in  1803,  and  has  already  been  mentioned. 
Here  were  situated  the  earliest  business  establishments  in  the  town — 
Aaron  Hackley's  store  and  tavern,  an  early  grist-mill,  and  the  vicinity 
was  more  thickly  settled  than  other  parts  of  the  town  at  an  early  day. 
Jonathan  Burrell,  and  later  his  sons,  carried  on  various  branches  of  busi- 
ness at  the  Corners.  There  is  very  little  here  now  to  distinguish  the 
neighborhood  from  the  surrounding  country,  except  a  blacksmith  shop 
and  a  cheese  factory. 

Salisbury  Center. — This  little  village,  as  indicated  by  its  name,  is 
situated  near  the  center  of  the  town.  Business  was  first  attracted  to 
the  locality  by  the  building  of  a  grist-mill  in  1802  by  a  man  named 
Plum  (or  Plumb),  which  was  followed  by  another  in  18 ID,  which  was 
built  by  Cornelius  Drake;  the  second  one  stood  a  little  below  the  first, 
and  about  on  the  site  of  the  present  mill,  now  operated  by  William  H. 
Elwell.  This  mill  was  erected  by  Edgar  Darling  in  1846-47.  Au- 
gustus Frisbie  was  one  of  the  early  settlers  at  the  Corners,  and  built 
the  first  frame  house,  which  he  converted  a  few  years  later  into  a  hotel, 
the  first  in  the  place.  Mr.  Frisbie  also  erected  and  operated  the  first 
wool-carding  and  cloth-dressing  works  in  18 10,  and  a  few  years  later 
Stephen  Avery  established  similar  works.  William  Peak  was  an  early 
merchant  and  perhaps  the  first.  The  mercantile  business  of  the  place 
previous  to  1820  was  of  little  importance,  but  in  that  year  Henry 
Marshall  opened  a  general  store  and  carried  on  quite  an  extensive  busi- 


TOWN  OF  SALISBURY.  325 

ness.  Stores  are  kept  at  the  present  time  by  Frank  Loucks  and  Robert 
Hicks.  A  small  tannery  was  built  here  in  1 8o6  by  Nathaniel  Peck;  he 
was  a  shoemaker  and  tanned  his  own  leather.  A  larger  tannery  was 
erected  by  Sherrill  &  Reed  about  1825  ;  these  have  disappeared  with 
the  failure  of  the  bark  supply,  with  the  exception  of  the  small  estab- 
ment  now  operated  by  John  Deitz.  The  cloth-dressing  works  long  ago 
disappeared  and  there  is  no  establishment  of  the  kind  in  the  town. 
J.  F.  McDougall  carries  on  the  saw  mill  at  the  Center,  with  planing- 
niill,  shingle-machines,  etc.,  and  a  shoe-peg  factory  has  been  operated  a 
number  of  years  by  Kingsley  Bros,  on  the  site  of  the  tannery  formerly 
operated  by  John  C.  Pitt.  The  post-office  was  established  here  about 
the  year  1825,  with  Dr.  Hiram  Hadley  as  postmaster.  R.  H.  Hicks 
is  the  present  incumbent  of  the  office.  Small  harness  and  blacksmith 
shops  complete  the  list  of  business  concerns  in  the  village. 

Devereaux. — This  busy  little  village  is  situated  on  the  East  Canada 
Creek  on  the  eastern  line  of  the  town,  a  part  of  its  buildings  being  in 
Fulton  county.  The  place  was  formerly  known  as  "  Nicholsville,  "  from 
Elder  Martin  Nichols,  who  was  one  of  the  early  settlers  and  came 
before  1800.  He  erected  a  frame  building  for  his  dwelling,  which  was 
afterwards  enlarged  and  kept  by  others  as  a  hotel.  He  also  built  the 
first  grist-mill  here  about  the  year  1800,  and  a  saw- mill  was  built  about 
that  time  by  either  Mr.  Nichols  or  Alexander  Boyd.  Elder  Nichols 
also  built  a  church  in  which  he  preached  for  a  number  of  years.  It 
was  eventually  burned  and  the  Baptist  chuich  built  upon  the  site. 
Jesse  Potter  was  an  early  settler  and  built  for  himself  the  first  house  in 
the  place.  Aaron  Bartlett  erected  the  first  tannery  on  the  east  side  of 
the  creek  about  the  year  1826.  It  fell  into  disuse  with  the  failure  of 
the  bark  supply.  One  of  the  earliest  merchants  here  was  Asa  Wilcox, 
and  Dr.  Elliot  Jacobs  was  the  first  physician.  The  post-office  was 
established  about  1 820  under  the  name  of  "Nicholsville,"  and  about 
1832  the  name  was  changed  to  "  East  Creek,"  and  a  few  years  later  to 
its  present  title,  after  Henry  Devereaux,  who  settled  here  about  1834 
and  became  a  prominent  merchant.  There  are  now  two  churches  here, 
noticed  further  on,  four  stores,  kept  by  S.  McLean,  N.  Perkins,  Bliss 
Kibbe  (who  is  also  postmaster),  and  D.  Heiterline.  J.  C.  Livingston 
carries  on  the  grist-mill  and  D.  Heiterline  has  a  butter- tub  factory  and 


326  HTSTORT  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

the  saw-mill.  There  are  three  hotels  which  are  kept  by  Peter  Ward, 
John  Moon,  jr.,  and  J.  Rowley. 

Salisbury  Corners  is  a  hamlet  on  the  State  road  in  the  southwestern 
part  of  the  town.  The  immediate  locality  was  first  settled  by  Hiram 
Wooster,  a  Connecticut  farmer,  who  came  about  1800.  In  181 1  the 
first  tavern  was  built  by  Amos  Griswold,  who  also  came  from  Connect- 
icut. William  Brooks  was  the  first  merchant  and  erected  his  own 
store.  There  is  very  little  business  done  here  at  the  present  time, 
a  small  store  and  a  tannery  only  being  kept. 

What  has  been  known  as  "  Diamond  Hill,  "  from  the  finding  of 
quartz  crystals  in  the  rocks,  is  a  settlement  on  the  State  road  about  one 
and  a  half  miles  north  of  Burrell's  Corners.  A  paper- mill  was  at  one 
time  in  operation  here,  and  W.  F.  Burrell  carried  on  a  saw-mill,  cheese- 
box  factory  and  turning  works. 

The  first  carding  machine  was  established  by  John  Standring  about 
1800,  and  was  located  at  Diamond  Hill,  being  operated  by  water  from 
Spruce  Creek.  The  mill  was  burned  a  few  years  after  its  erection  and 
a  larger  one  with  machinery  for  cloth- dressing  built  in  its  stead.  Au- 
gustus Frisbie  built  a  similar  factory  at  Salisbury  Center  in  1810  and  in 
i8i4another  one  was  established  by  a  stock  company,  on  Spruce  Creek, 
north  of  Salisbury  Center,  owned  in  subsequent  years  by  Truman 
Ives. 

Tanning  has  been  very  largely  carried  on  in  this  town,  the  first  tan- 
nery having  been  built  by  Col.  Amos  Griswold  about  1 802,  a  mile  north 
of  the  site  of  Burrell's  Corners.  To  this  one  were  added  from  time  to 
time  others,  and  down  to  about  the  beginning  of  the  war  period,  this 
was  one  of  the  chief  industries  of  the  town.  There  is  now  only  one 
tannery  in  the  town,  carried  on  by  John  Dietz. 

Churches. — The  first  meeting-house  in  this  town  was  erected  about 
1795,  at  what  is  now  Burrell's  Corners,  under  the  auspices  of  the  Pres- 
byterian denomination.  It  was  occupied  as  a  church  until  183  i,  when 
that  denomination  built  a  new  church  at  Salisbury  Corners,  and  the  old 
church  was  converted  into  a  wagon  shop.  It  subsequently  burned. 
The  church  at  the  Corners  is  still  standing,  but  is  unoccupied  as  such. 
Rev.  Caleb  Alexander,  the  touring  missionary  of  early  times,  wrote  as 
follows  of  the  Presbyterians  at  Salisbury  at  the  beginning  of  the 
century : 


TOWN  OF  SALISBURY.  327 

Tuesday,  November  19,  1801. — Rode  ea.st  four  miles  to  Salisbury.  Called  upon 
Aaron  Haokley,  esq.,  and  preached  a  lecture  on  Titus  iii.,  5,  G.  A  decent  congregation 
in  the  school-house.  There  is  a  Presbyterian  church  of  thirty-six  members,  belonging 
to  the  Northern  Associate  Presbytery  of  Morris  County  Presbytery.  A  Baptist  church 
has  lately  been  established  here.  There  has  been  in  this  place,  last  summer,  much  at- 
tention to  religion,  and  almost  every  convert  has  joined  the  Baptist  communion 
through  the  vigorous  exertions  of  the  Baptist  teachers  itinerating.  Salisbury  contains 
1,694  souls,  and  a  Presbyterian  meeting-house. 

A  Baptist  church  was  organized  at  Burrell's  Corners  in  i8oo,  where 
meetings  were  held  for  a  time,  and  afterward  at  Sahsbury  Corners,  until 
about  I  S3 1,  when  the  society  united  with  the  Universalists  and  erected 
a  union  church.  This  building  was  subsequently,  and  now  is,  occupied 
by  the  Baptists  alone,  the  other  societ}'^  becoming  extinct.  There  is 
a  Baptist  church  at  Devereaux,  in  which  George  Fisher  is  the  present 
pastor. 

The  First  Universalist  Society  of  Salisbury  was  organized  at  the 
house  of  Stephen  Pratt,  in  December,  1822.  On  February  28,  1830,  a 
new  organization  was  effected  at  the  house  of  Abial  Pratt  and  the  so- 
ciety was  incorporated. 

The  union  church  of  Salisbury  Center  was  erected  in  1 830,  princi- 
pally by  the  Universalists,  and  by  the  Presbyterians  and  Baptists.  Its 
cost  was  about  $2,600,  and  it  was  dedicated  in  October,  1830.  It  is 
only  used  occasionally  at  the  present  time. 

The  Methodist  Episcopal  church  at  Salisbury  Center  was  organized 
in  1826,  by  Rev.  John  W.  Wallace  with  about  twenty  members.  In 
1828  the  society  began  the  erection  of  a  frame  church.  It  was  used 
while  still  unfinished  for  about  two  years,  and  was  finished  in  1830. 
In  1870,  during  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  G.  W.  Howland,  it  was  remod- 
eled and  repaired,  and  rededicated  by  Bishop  Peck.  Rev.  Amos  Rich 
is  the  present  pastor  in  this  church,  and  the  one  at  Devereaux. 


328  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

CHAPTER  XV. 

THE   TOWN    OF   MANIIEIM. 

\A  ANHEIM  lies  on  the  eastern  border  of  the  county  and  on  the 
/  \  north  bank  of  the  Mohawk  River.  It  is  bounded  on  the  north 
by  Salisbury;  on  the  east  by  Oppenheim  in  Fulton  county;  on  the 
south  by  Danube,  and  on  the  west  by  Little  Falls  and  Fairfield.  Six 
of  the  large  lots  in  Glen's  purchase,  a  part  of  the  fourth  allotment  of 
the  Royal  Grant ;  the  whole  of  John  Van  Driesen's,  Snell  and  Tim- 
merman's,  and  part  of  Rev.  Peter  Van  Driesen's  patents;  a  part  of 
Vrooman's  patent,  and  some  small  grants  made  by  the  State  are  in  this 
town.  The  town  was  formed  from  Palatine,  Ilontgomery  county,  on 
the  3d  of  March,  1797,  and  it  remained  a  part  of  that  county  until 
April  7,  18 17,  when  it  was  annexed  to  Herkimer  county.  It  received 
its  name  from  Manheim  in  Germany.  The  surface  of  the  town  rises 
from  the  intervales  of  the  Mohawk  to  the  northern  border  where 
it  reaches  a  height  of  500  feet  above  the  river.  The  soil  is  a  gravelly 
loam  on  the  uplands  and  a  fertile  alluvium  on  the  flats.  Cathatachua 
Creek  flows  through  the  town  near  the  center,  and  Gillett  Creek  south- 
east across  the  northeast  corner  ;  both  are  small  streams.  East  Can- 
ada Creek  flows  along  the  eastern  boundary  of  the  town,  furnishes 
excellent  water  power  and  is  beautified  by  several  picturesque  cascades 
within  the  limits  of  the  town. 

Manheim  was  settled  by  German  emigrants  before  the  Revolution. 
The  grant  of  3,600  acres  made  in  1755  to  Jacob Timmerman  and  Johan 
Jost  Snell  (or  Schnell),  commonly  called  Snell  and  Timmerman's  patent, 
is  near  the  central  part  of  the  town  on  an  east  and  west  line,  and  south 
of  the  Royal  Grant.  The  date  of  this  grant  is  probably  not  far  from 
the  time  of  the  first  settlement ;  and  descendants  of  the  Snells  and  Tim- 
mermans  are  still  residents  of  the  county.  A  part  of  this  original 
grant  still  bears  the  common  name  of  "  Sncll's  Bush."  Jacob  Timmer- 
man had  at  least  five  sons,  four  of  whom,  Henry,  Adam,  Frederick  and 
Jacob,  settled  on  portions  of  this  patent.     Four  of  the  sons  of  Johan 


TOWN  OF  MANHEIM.  329 

Jost  Snell,  Suffrenus,  Peter,  Joseph  and  Jacob,  also  located  here  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  old  Dutch  Reformed  church.  Nine  of  the  Snell  family 
went  into  the  battle  of  Oriskany  and  only  two  returned,  Peter  being 
one  ;   the  other  seven  were  killed. 

Henry  Remensneider,  or  (Rhemensnyder)  and  Johannes  Boyer  were 
the  first  settlers  on  Glen's  purchase,  a  few  miles  north  of  the  Little 
Falls,  where  they  seated  themselves  a  few  years  prior  to  the  Revo- 
lution. John  Boyer  took  part  in  the  battle  of  Oriskany  ;  he  was  the 
immediate  ancestor  of  the  Boyer  families,  who  were  once  numerous 
in  the  county.  Among  other  German  families  who  settled  in  the  town 
before  the  Revolution  were  the  Keysers,  Van  Slykes  Newmans,  Pick- 
erts,  Klocks  and  Garters.  The  Newmans,  Klocks  and  a  family  named 
Davis  settled  near  the  center  of  the  town,  south  of  Remensneider's  Bush.i 
James  Van  Slyke  and  John  Windecker,  aged  respectively  seventeen  and 
nine  years,  were  taken  prisoners  during  the  Revolution.  They  were  at 
the  time  in  the  log  house  of  Frederick  Windecker,  who  lived  on  the 
farm  occupied  in  recent  years  by  John  F.  Windecker.  They  were  car- 
ried to  Canada,  whence  Van  Slyke  escaped,  but  the  younger  lad  was 
kept  five  years.  It  will  be  remembered  by  the  reader  that  we  have  al- 
ready given  an  account  of  the  attack  on  the  settlements  at  Remensnei- 
der's Bush,  April  30,  1780,  by  a  large  band  of  Indians  and  tories,  who 
burned  the  early  grist-mill  of  that  place  and  carried  away  nineteen  per- 
sons. The  settlers  in  the  town  suffered  severely  from  the  depredations 
of  the  enemy  during  the  Revolution. 

The  block- house  mentioned  in  the  foot  note  on  this  page  was  sit- 
uated just  over  the  west  line  of  Manheim  in  the  edge  of  Little  Falls  ; 
it  was  known  as  Remensneider's  fort.  The  grist-mill  stood  on  lands 
owned  by  Lorenzo  Carryl,  now  of  Little  Falls.  Of  the  prisoners  car- 
ried to  Canada  in  1780,  John  Garter  died  there.  After  that  attack  the 
inhabitants  of  the  town  retired  to  the  lower  valley,  abandoning  their 
farms  until  after  the  war. 

1  A  blockhouse  stood  at  this  place  (Remensneider's  Bush),  and  many  o£  the  inhabitants  toolc  re£- 
xige  in  it.  Twelve  of  the  prisoners  were  taken  at  one  house  by  half  that  number  of  Indians  with- 
out resistance.  The  captives  all  returned  after  the  war.  except  one  who  died  in  Canada,  and  one 
who  escaped.  John  G.  Snell,  while  searching  for  cattle  in  the  woods,  was  surprised  by  the  Indians 
and  shot  through  the  body.  He  recovered  and  lived  to  an  advanced  age.  The  town  was  deserted 
after  this  by  all  but  the  tories.— French's  State  Gazetteer,  p.  346. 


330  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

Adam  Garlock  settled  in  the  town  previous  to  the  Revolution,  and 
the  farm  has  always  remained  in  possession  of  his  descendants.  With 
the  cessation  of  hostilities  the  town  was  rapidl  i  filled  up  by  the  ref- 
ugees and  new-comers  from  the  East.  Judge  Jacob  Markell,  born  in 
Schenectady  in  1770,  came  to  Manheim  when  he  was  twenty  years  old  ; 
was  long  a  justice  of  the  peace,  supervisor  of  the  town  twenty  six 
years,  judge  of  the  Court  of  Comman  Pleas  while  the  town  was  a  part 
of  Montgomery  county;  elected  to  Congress  for  one  term,  and  mem- 
ber of  Assembly  from  Manheim  in  1819.  (See  chapter  on  the  Bench 
and  Bar.) 

Jacob  P.  Loucks  was  born  in  Manheim  in  1783  ;  was  a  soldier  in  the 
War  of  18 12  and  lived  to  a  very  old  age.  Major  Andrew  Fink  settled 
here  soon  after  the  close  of  the  Revolution ;  was  of  German  descent 
and  born  in  the  present  town  of  Palatine ;  was  first  lieutenant  in  Cap- 
tain Christopher  P.  Yates's  company  in  July,  1775,  and  rose  to  the  rank 
of  major  during  the  war.  He  lived  to  an  advanced  age  and  is  buried 
in  this  town.  John  A.  Dockey,  a  British  soldier  under  Burgoyne,  was 
taken  prisoner  at  Bennington,  escaped  at  Albany  and  canie  to  Fall  Hill, 
where  he  hired  out  to  Peter  Dygert;  soon  afterward  he  married  the  wid- 
ow of  Jacob  Snell,  who  was  killed  at  Oriskany.  His  son,  Henry  Dockey, 
was  born  in  Manheim  in  March,  1784.  Nathaniel  and  Elijah  Spencer 
came  from  Vermont  and  settled  on  the  farm  now  owned  by  Howard 
Spencer,  their  descendant,  in  1797.  Others  who  settled  in  this  town 
in  the  latter  part  of  the  last  century  were  Samuel  Peck  and  his  son, 
Isaac,  who  came  in  1796;  Jacob  Youran,  in  1797;  John  Faville,  Simeon 
P.  Bidleman,  James  and  John  Van  Valkenburg,  Henry  Broat  and  Peter 
Woolever. 

John  Beardslee,  born  in  Sharon,  Conn.,  in  November,  1759,  became 
a  practical  mechanic,  architect  and  civil  engineer.  He  came  to  the  Mo- 
hawk valley  in  1787,  visited  Whitestown  and  engaged  with  White  & 
Whitmore  to  build  mills  for  them  on  shares.  In  1792  he  built  for  the 
State  a  mill  for  the  use  of  the  Oneida  Indians.  Between  1790  and 
1796  he  built  the  first  bridge  across  the  Mohawk  at  Little  Falls  and  the 
old  red  grist-mill  there  ;  also  built  mills  for  Richard  Van  Home  at  Van 
Hornesville  and  for  Colonel  Frey  at  Canajoharie  ;  the  court-house  with 
jail  at  Herkimer,  which  was  burned  in  January,  1834;  a  bridge  over 


J 


TOWN  OF  MANHEIM.  331 

East  Canada  Creek  and  a  grist-mill,  saw- mill  and  carding  works  about 
half  a  mile  north  of  the  present  Mohawk  turnpike.  The  building  of 
the  last-named  bridge  led  to  his  settling  in  Manheim.  The  bridge  was 
paid  for  by  Montgomery  county,  and  in  order  to  get  the  necessary  tim- 
ber he  purchased  a  one-hundred- acre  lot  west  of  the  creek  and  near  the 
bridge  in  March,  1794.  Finishing  the  bridge,  he  erected  the  mills 
which  were  in  operation  in  1795.  These  improvements  attracted  emi- 
grants, and  by  1800  there  was  a  lively  settlement  here;  it  became 
known  as  "  the  city."  Besides  the  mills  there  were  two  stores,  two 
taverns,  a  blacksmith  shop,  a  nail  factory,  brewery,  distillery,  etc. 
There  was  more  business  done  at  Beardslee's  Mills,  as  it  vi'as  often 
called;  than  at  Little  Falls  at  the  time  in  question.  The  location  of  the 
Mohawk  turnpike  half  a  mile  south,  and  the  subsequent  building  of  the 
canal  south  of  the  river,  turned  the  tide  from  this  little  village,  as  it  did 
from  many  others  in  the  valley,  and  almost  every  trace  of  the  existence 
of  "the  city  "  has  disappeared.  In  1810  Mr.  Beardslee  purchased  350 
acres  lying  on  both  sides  of  the  creek  and  between  his  first  purchase 
and  the  Mohawk,  where  sprang  up  the  settlement  of  East  Creek;  and 
this,  too,  has  now  almost  disappeared,  as  far  as  business  is  concerned. 
Mr.  Beardslee  died  at  his  home  October  3,  1825,  leaving  a  permanent 
impress  upon  the  town  and  its  vicinity. 

Augustus  Beardslee  was  born  in  the  town  of  Manheim  August  13, 
1 80 1.  After  finishing  his  education  at  Fairfield  Seminary  and  Union 
College  he  read  law  with  Abram  Van  Vechten  in  Albany  and  with 
George  H.  Feeter  in  Little  Falls,  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  Decem- 
ber 27,  1824.  In  1828  he  was  appointed  by  the  governor  one  of  the 
judges  of  the  Common  Pleas  of  Herkimer  county.  In  1834  he  was 
elected  to  the  Assembly,  and  in  1843  he  was  again  appointed  a  judge 
of  the  Common  Pleas.  After  his  term  of  judgeship  expired  he  retired 
to  his  country  home  at  East  Creek,  in  the  town  of  Manheim,  where  he 
died  on  March  15,  1873,  having  spent  the  later  years  of  his  life  with  his 
books  and    in  the   management  of  his  large   landed  estate. 

James  H.  Wetherwax,  born  in  this  town  November  29,  1829,  was  a 
prominent  and  successful  farmer.  He  was  elected  supervisor  in  i860, 
and  held  that  office  three  successive  terms.  In  1867  he  was  chosen 
sheriff  of  the  county,  and  in  1880  Governor  Cornell  appointed  him  one 


332  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

of  the  State  assessors.  He  died  on  his  farm  in  Manheim,  now  occupied 
by  his  son,  James  F.  Weatlierwax,  January  i,  1883. 

Other  improvements  made  in  the  town  at  a  very  early  date  were  a 
sawmill  on  the  East  Canada  Creek,  built  in  1798  by  Jacob  Youran, 
and  a  grist-mill,  erected  by  him  in  18 15,  which  continued  in  operation 
some  forty  years.  Thomas  Johnson  built  a  saw-  mill  on  Gillett  Creek 
on  the  farm  now  owned  by  Charles  Ransom  about  18 14.  Other  mills 
were  started  at  different  points,  not  one  of  which  is  in  operation. 
Jacob  Markeli  opened  a  small  store  near  what  became  known  as  Man- 
heim Center  in  1790  ^the  vicinity  of  the  present  half- way  house).  He 
manufactured  potash  there,  and  a  post-ofifice  was  at  one  period  estab- 
lished at  that  point. 

There  are  no  accessible  records  of  the  transactions  of  this  town  while 
it  remained  a  part  of  Montgomery  county.  The  first  meeting  after  it 
was  annexed  to  Herkimer  county  was  held  on  the  first  Tuesday  in 
March,  18 18,  when  the  following  officers  were  elected: 

Jacob  Markeli,  supervisor;  Jacob  Wire,  town  clerk;  John  Young.';,  Hanford  Sher- 
wood, Elijah  Barnes,  highway  commissioners;  Elijah  Barnes,  Samuel  Gray,  jr.,  Adam 
Feeler,  assessors ;  Jacob  Markeli  and  Daniel  Getman,  overseers  of  poor  ;  George  G. 
Loucks,  collector;  Luther  Pardee,  Jacob  Bates,  Jacob  Markeli,  school  commissioners; 
Bennett  Pearce,  Charles  Freeman,  Elijah  Ayres,  Thomas  Ransom,  John  G.  Loucks, 
Elijah  Barnes,  school  inspectors ;  William  P.  Schuyler,  Uarmanus  Visgar,  Joseph 
House,  constables,  and  twenty-four  overseers  of  highways. 

Following  is  a  list  of  supervisors  of  the  town  of  Manheim  from  its 
organization  to  the  present  time  : 

Jacob  Markeli,  1797-1S19,  1824-27;  Luther  Pardee,  1820-22;  Lawrence  Timmer- 
man,  1823;  Augustus  Beardslee,  1828-29;  John  T.  Timmerman,  1830;  Daniel  Hayes, 
1831;  Isaac  S.  Ford,  1832;  Jacob  Powell,  1833;  John  P.  Snell,  1834-37,  1839; 
Suffrenus  Snell,  1838;  John  Hoover,  jr.,  1840-41;  John  T.  Beardslee,  1842;  Jacob 
Yoran,  184.3-44,  1850  ;  Nathan  S.  Green,  1845  ;  John  Markeli,  1846-49;  Oliver  Ladue, 
1851-52;  Jeremiah  G.  Snell,  18.53;  Hiram  Broat,  1854-55,  1867-71;  Levi  Belhnger, 
1856-57;  Luke  Sngll,  1858-59;  James  H.  Wetherwax,  1860-62;  Morgan  Bidleman, 
1863-64;  S.Stewart  Lansing,  1865-66;  Michael  Levee,  1872  ;  Charles  E.  Bauder, 
1873-75 ;  Seymour  Keyser,  1876 ;  Norman  Timmerman,  1877-78 ;  John  Garlock, 
1879-81;  Wm.  A.  Goodell,  1882-83 ;  Hannibal  Sneil,  1884-85;  Hiram  Broat,  1886- 
87  ;  Charles  Cook,  1888  ;  Thomas  H.  Curry,  1889-92. 

Manheim  is  one  of  the  best  cheese-producing  towns  in  the  county, 
and  a  large  share  of  the   labor  of  farmers   is  devoted  to  that  industry. 


TOWN  OF  MANHEIM.  333 

At  the  present  time  there  are  nine  factories  in  operation,  the  first  of 
which  was  built  in  1864  by  P.  H.  Smith,  near  Brockett's  Bridge  (Dolge- 
ville).  There  are  ten  scliool  districts  in  the  town,  two  of  them  (at  East 
Creek  and  Ingham's  Mills)  being  joint  districts  with  Oppenheim  and 
St.  Johnsville. 

The  Village  of  Dolgeville. — This,  one  of  the  most  thriving  villages 
in  the  State  of  New  York,  has  gained  a  national  reputation  by  the  vari- 
ous industrial  and  other  enterprises  of  Alfred  Dolge,  a  public  spirited 
citizen  of  German  birth  and  parentage,  after  whom  the  place  was 
named  and  who  settled  here  in  1876. 

Dolgeville  lies  in  the  spurs  of  the  Adirondacks,  on  both  sides  of  the 
East  Canada  Creek,  and  eight  miles  from  Little  Falls,  with  which  it  is 
now  connected  by  railroad.  The  principal  part  of  the  village,  which 
includes  all  the  factories,  post-office,  schools,  business  blocks,  etc.,  is 
situated  in  the  northeast  corner  of  the  township  of  Manheim.  Many 
handsome  residences,  the  academy,  the  Episcopal  church,  the  lumber 
yards,  etc.,  lie  on  the  further  side  of  the  creek  in  the  township  of  Op- 
penheim, Fulton  county. 

Dolgeville  is  known  as  one  of  the  most  picturesque  and  healthful 
spots  in  the  center  of  the  State,  and  is  especially  adapted  to  manufac- 
turing purposes  by  reason  of  its  splendid  water  power,  fine  surrounding 
timber  lands,  and  other  valuable  advantages. 

Long  after  the  Mohawk  valley  had  been  settled,  principally  by  Ger- 
man emigrants,  the  present  site  of  Dolgeville  was  one  unbroken  wilder- 
ness, known  only  to  the  hunter  and  trapper. 

It  was  not  until  several  years  after  the  War  of  the  Revolution  that  the 
surrounding  farms  were  settled  by  the  Faville,  Ayres,  Spencer,  Ransom, 
Spofford,  Lamberson,  Brockett  and  Rundell  families.  John  Faville  was 
the  pioneer  and  settled  in  1795  on  Ransom  Creek,  where  he  built  a 
grist-mill  and  later  a  saw  mill.  Soon  a  little  settlement  sprang  up 
there,  including  a  blacksmith  shop,  a  tannery  and  a  school-house. 
Soon  following  Faville,  the  two  brothers.  Elijah  and  Nathaniel  Spen- 
cer, bought  land  and  settled  here;  they  arrived  as  early  as  1797,  and 
their  lands  have  remained  in  possession  of  their  descendants  until  1892. 

Prior  to  this  time  a  little  industry  was  started  at  the  present  village 
site.     Samuel  Low,  for   many  years  a  justice  of  the  peace,  built  in  or 


334  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

before  1794,  a  saw- mill  and  a  grist-mill,  which  were  located  between  the 
site  of  Dolge's  iron  bridge  and  the  upper  boiler-house. 

Zephi  Brockett  settled  here  in  1813,  on  the  Oppenheim  side  of  the 
creek,  while  the  Spoffords  came  in  about  1800  ;  in  the  latter  year  Abe 
Spofford  kept  a  tavern  on  the  east  side  of  the  creek.  Thomas  Spof- 
ford  settled  in  the  south  end  of  the  village,  and  John  D.  Spofford  came 
here  in  18 10,  bought  a  large  farm,  and  built  later  on  the  residence 
now  owned  by  Philip  Helmer. 

There  were  no  stores  at  this  village  until  about  1830;  the  trading 
was  done  at  Salisbury  Corners,  which  was  then  a  much  more  pre- 
tentious village  than  it  is  now.  There  was  no  direct  road  to  Little 
Falls  until  1815.  Previous  to  that  year,  in  order  to  reach  that  village, 
travelers  followed  a  trail  through  the  forest  a  part  of  the  way,  then 
took  a  road  to  Salisbury  Corners,  and  thence  the  road  to  the  Falls. 
Very  much  of  the  surrounding  country  was  woodland  until  after 
1825. 

The  first  permanent  bridge  here  across  the  East  Canada  Creek  was 
built  in  1805  by  a  man  named  Green,  and  the  settlement  was  for  some 
time  known  as  "  Green's  Bridge."  This  was  an  open  truss  bridge,  of 
spruce  timber,  which  was  displaced  in  1818  by  one  built  of  elm  timber. 
In  1826-29  the  covered  wooden  bridge  was  erected  by  Calvin  Ran- 
som, at  a  cost  of  $540.  A  substantial  iron  bridge  has  recently  been 
erected. 

A  post-office  was  established  here  in  1826,  with  Zephi  Brockett  as 
postmaster ;  he  was  then  the  most  prominent  man  in  the  settlement 
and  the  post-ofifice  was  named  in  his  honor,   "  Brockett's  Bridge." 

James  P.  Brockett,  Charles  G.  Brockett,  Addison  Lamberson,  Bruno 
C.  Dolge,  Henry  A.  Dolge  and  Frank  J.  Loucks  have  held  the  office 
of  postmaster. 

\  The  first  burying-ground  in  the  vicinity  was  the  Sherwood  cemetery, 
where  many  early  settlers  are  buried.  The  Hewitt  cemetery  contains 
the  graves  of  many  old  residents.  The  present  cemetery  was  opened 
about  sixty  years  ago;  enlarged  in  1870,  and  again  in  1889. 

Following  the  saw -mill  built  by  Low,  Thomas  Spofford  built  one 
and  also  a  grist-mill,  which  were  afterwards  operated  by  the  Ransoms, 
and  by  Erastus  B.  Jones;  they  stood  near  the  west  end  of  Dolge's 


TOWN  OF  MANHEIM.  335 

iron  bridge.  Before  1815  Reuben  Ransom  built  a  carding  and  cloth- 
finishing  mill ;  it  was  torn  down  in  1836.  He  also  built  a  small  upper- 
leather  tannery  before  1820;  work  in  which  was  abandoned  about 
1S30. 

In  1830  Major  D.  B.  Winton  came  here  and  built  the  tannery, 
afterwards  known  as  the  Herkimer  County  Tannery;  it  became 
one  of  the  largest  in  the  United  States.  Dwelling  houses  were 
built  and  several  smaller  manufacturing  establishments  were  started. 
Henry  Van  Buren  manufactured  lead  pipe  and  carried  on  wood  turn- 
ing, and  in  183  i  the  Westby  axe  factory  was  established.  A  saw-mill 
was  erected  by  Scott  &  Smith,  south  of  the  island.  John  D.  Spofford 
operated  a  saw  mill  and  later  on  a  stave-mill  a  little  north  of  the 
Loomer  Hotel.  Several  stores  were  opened  and  the  place  was  a  busy 
one,  particularly  in  the  winter  season.  In  December,  1845,  the  tan- 
nery was  burned  ;  it  was  rebuilt  in  the  next  year,  the  same  walls  being 
used.  Mr.  Westby's  axe  factory  was  converted  by  D.  W.  Slawson 
into  a  cheese  box  factory.  A  saw-mill  was  erected  near  the  High 
Falls  in  1847;  it  was  afterwards  changed  to  a  paper-mill,  which  was 
twice  burned  down. 

The  tanning  business  here  was  carried  on  by  the  firm  of  Isaac  Corse, 
of  New  York  (later  Corse,  Lapham,  Thorn  &  Co.,  and  still  later  Wat- 
son &  Thorn).  In  1856  Oliver  Ladue  became  the  manager  of  the 
tannery  and  continued  until  1861.  With  the  failure  of  the  bark  supply 
he  left  the  tannery  and  it  ceased  work  entirely  in  1872.  From  that 
time  until  the  arrival  of  Alfred  Dolge  times  here  were  very  dull. 

The  real  history  of  Dolgeville  dates  from  1S74,  when  Alfred  Dolge, 
a  young  German  who  was  engaged  in  the  importing  of  piano  material 
in  New  York,  and  who  also  had  started  the  domestic  manufacture  of 
piano  felt  in  Brooklyn,  came  up  here  prospecting  for  spruce  wood  which 
is  used  in  the  manufacture  of  piano  sounding  boards.  He  purchased 
the  tannery  property,  and  in  April,  1875,  began  his  manufacturing 
operations,  which  have  since  developed  into  the  largest  of  their  kind 
in  the  United  States  and  include  felt  mills,  felt  shoe  factories,  factories 
for  piano  cases,  piano  sounding  boards,  piano  hammers  and  lumber 
yards. 

The  Dolge   piano  felt  and  felt  shoes  have  obtained  an  international 


336  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

reputation,  tlie  former  having  carried  off  the  highest  awards  over  all 
competition  at  the  great  exhibitions  of  Vienna,  Paris  and  Philadelphia. 

In  1879  the  lumber  factory  was  erected,  and  in  1881  the  saw- mill 
and  two  stone  boiler  houses  with  large  brick  chimneys.  In  1882-83 
the  magnificent  stone  factory,  266  x  64  feet,  four  stories  high,  was 
built.  In  1887  two  large  stone  buildings  were  erected.  From  1878  to 
the  present  time  several  hundred  dwelling  houses  have  been  built  by 
Mr.  Dolge,  as  well  as  by  his  employees  and  others,  until  now  the  pop- 
ulation has  reached  over  2,000,  from  an  insignificant  325  in  1875.  The 
new  iron  bridge  connecting  the  factories  with  the  lumber  yards,  was 
opened  in  1881,  and  in  the  same  year  electric  light  was  put  into  the 
lumber  mills,  to  be  introduced  in  the  streets  and  houses  in  1887. 

Besides  some  30,000  acres  in  the  Adirondacks,  Mr.  Dolge  purchased, 
from  time  to  time,  extensive  tracts  of  land  in  and  about  the  village, 
which  he  has  laid  out  into  wide  streets  and  excellent  building  lots. 

In  1 88 1,  by  unanimous  vote  of  the  inhabitants,  the  name  of  the 
place  was  changed  from  Brockett's  Bridge  to  Dolgeville,  in  honor  of 
the  man  who  had  by  his  enterprise  and  public  spirit  done  so  much  to 
increase  its  prosperit}'  and  develop  its  material  resources. 

In  1887  Mr.  Dolge  purchased  the  Reuben  Faville  farm,  which  in- 
cluded the  picturesque  High  Falls  of  the  East  Canada  Creek.  This, 
to  the  extent  of  nearly  five  hundred  acres,  he  laid  out  as  a  park  and 
presented  it  to  the  public  in  1887.  It  is  of  extraordinary  beauty  and 
picturesqueness. 

The  village  was  incorporated  in  1 89 1.  The  first  and  present  officers 
are:  Alfred  Dolge,  president;  Warren  Bacon,  Edwin  Hopson,  and  L. 
E.  Eambert,  trustees. 

The  first  schools  in  this  vicinity  were  at  John  Faville's,  on  Ransom 
Creek,  and  at  a  place  about  a  mile  east  of  the  site  of  the  village  on  the 
State  road.  To  both  of  these  pupils  went  from  a  long  distance  around. 
The  first  school  in  the  village  was  opened  in  18 15,  and  was  taught  by 
Susan  Spofford,  sister  of  John  D.  SpofTord.  A  select  school  was  kept 
before  1830  by  Mrs  Worthing,  wife  of  a  Methodist  preacher,  who  lived 
and  taught  in  the  old  Small  tannery.  A  brick  school- liouse  was  built 
about  1832  on  Main  street  and  torn  down  in  1877.  In  1856  the  pres- 
ent old  school  building  was  erected  at  a  cost  of  $1,500.      On  the  3d  of 


TOWN  OF  MANHEIM.  337 

August,  1886,  largely  through  the  influence  of  Alfred  Dolge,  the  School 
Society  was  organized,  its  chief  object  being  the  general  welfare  of  all 
the  schools  in  the  village.  Through  the  work  of  this  society,  and  a  do- 
nation of  if 7, 000  from  Mr.  Dolge,  the  present  handsome  and  commo- 
dious brick  school  building  was  erected  at  a  cost  of  $18,000,  and  dedi- 
cated with  elaborate  ceremonies  on  the  iith  of  October,  1887.  This 
school  has  a  principal,  who  is  assisted  by  seven  teachers.  The  efforts 
of  the  School  Society  have  recently  resulted  in  the  establishment  of  an- 
other institution  of  equal  importance  as  the  new  school.  The  Dolge- 
ville  Academy  was  dedicated  on  the  30th  of  August,  1890.  It  is  a 
liandsome  structure,  seventy- four  by  forty  feet,  and  cost  about  $20,000, 
which  was  contributed  by  Mr.  Alfred  Dolge,  who  has  also  borne  the 
lion's  share  of  the  expense  of  running  it.  There  are  a  large  number  of 
efficient  teachers,  headed  by  a  principal.  The  course  of  instruction 
includes  Latin  and  Greek,  history,  mathematics,  English  literature, 
music,  domestic  economy,  and  instruction  in  the  mechanical  arts,  for 
which  latter  a  suitable  and  commodious  building  has  been  recently 
erected. 

The  entire  system  of  schools,  which  also  includes  an  admirable  kin- 
dergarten, is  regarded  as  one  of  the  best  in  the  State,  and  has  been  re- 
peatedly commended  by  the  State  officials.  The  tuition  is  free  in  the 
schools  and  in  the  academy  to  all  members  of  the  School  Society. 
The  dues  are  nominal.  The  children  of  outside  residents  can  also  se- 
cure the  advantages  of  the  academy  course  by  the  payment  of  small 
fees. 

Through  the  enterprise  of  the  Dolgeville  Herald,  aided  by  leading 
citizens  and  friends  of  the  village,  a  number  of  valuable  prizes  are  now 
offered  each  year  to  the  students,  the  principal  prize  being  a  $400 
scholarship,  open  to  both  sexes,  which  runs  for  four  years,  to  enable  the 
successful  student  to  enter  a  college  course  at  Cornell,  the  Boston  Tech- 
nological School,  or  some  other  similar  institution.  One  of  these  schol- 
arships which  have  been  founded  by  Mr.  Alfred  Dolge's  liberality,  is 
given  every  year. 

The  village  has  a  fire  department  \v"hich,  under  the  captaincy  of  Mr. 
Henry  Dolge,  has  rendered   invaluable  services  at  various  times  to  the 
property  owners. 
43 


338  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

One  of  the  distinguishing  enterprises  in  the  place  is  the  Dolgeville 
Herald,  which  started  in  May,  1889,  as  a  four-page  monthly,  "printed  in 
New  York,  and  has  since  developed  into  a  sixteen-page  illustrated 
weekly,  with  a  circulation  all  over  the  State.  It  is  printed  with  its  own 
type  and  presses  and  employs  a  large  number  of  persons.  John  C. 
Freund  is  the  editor.  It  is  published  by  the  Dolgeville  Herald  Publish- 
ing Company.     The  subscription  is  $2  a  year. 

Dolgeville  boasts  a  number  of  fraternal  and  social  societies,  which 
are  all  in  a  flourishing  condition  :  A  Masonic  lodge,  a  chapter  of  Royal 
Arcanum,  Society  of  Chosen  Friends,  a  brass  and  reed  band,  a  German 
Turn-Verein,  a  singing  society,  a  dancing  school,  a  fencing  club,  and  a 
canton  of  Odd  Fellows. 

In  addition  to  these,  Dolgeville  has  a  building  and  loan  association, 
which,  although  in  operation  but  two  years,  is  highly  successful  and 
has  a  capital  of  over  $12,000. 

The  Turn-Verein,  which  has /tf/c^  gained  the  "Lion  Prize"  at  the 
great  State  Turner  meetings,  has  largely  aided  in  providing  pleasant 
entertainment  for  the  villagers  ever  since  its  establishment.  Its  social 
meetings,  concerts,  and  balls  are  eagerly  looked  forward  to.  It  occu- 
pied a  fine  club  house  on  Elm  street,  but  this  is  being  transformed 
into  a  factory,  as  the  Turners  have  decided  to  build  a  new  home,  on  a 
much  larger  scale,  which  is  to  cost  $15,000. 

Another  notable  institution  is  the  Free  Library,  which  is  under  the 
fostering  care  of  the  School  Society.  The  library  contains  one  of  the 
largest  and  best  collections  of  standard  works  to  be  found  in  the  State. 
It  has  large  and  commodious. reading  rooms.  It  is  supplied  by  volun- 
tary contributions,  and  has  been  established  by  generous  donations  of 
books  from  many  public -spirited  citizens  all  over  the  country. 

Besides  the  various  industries  founded  in  this  village  by  Alfred  Dolge, 
and  which  give  employment  to  nearly  600  hands,  there  are  other 
business  interests  :  The  piano  factory  of  Brambach  &  Co.,  located  in 
the  south  end  of  the  village,  turns  out  a  great  many  hundreds  of 
high  grade  pianos  during  the  year,  and  employs  about  150  hands. 

The  Dolgeville  Woolen  Company  manufact-tires  fine  grades  of  piano 
cloth,  printer's  cloth,  etc.  It  employs  about  fifty  hands  and  is  situated 
at  the  junction  of  East  Canada  and  Spruce  Creeks.  Hugo  Dolge  is 
president  and  Ottomar  Jessnitzer,  treasurer. 


TOWN  OF  MANHEIM.  339 

The  Giese  Wire  Factory  is  located  next  to  the  Dolgeville  Woolen 
Company,  and  manufactures  all  kinds  of  piano  wire,  bookbinder's  and 
florist's  wire,  bicycle  spokes,  etc.  It  started  recently  with  about  thirty 
hands. 

The  C.  F.  Zimmerman  Company  manufactures  a  musical  instrument 
similar  to  the  German  zither,  called  the  auto-harp.  It  was  recently 
removed  from  Philadelphia,  and  has  a  paid-up  capital  of  $100,000.  It 
employs  a  great  number  of  hands. 

The  manufacture  of  piano  cases  is  assuming  large  proportions,  and 
in  1893  there  will  be  an  output  of  over  2,000. 

Negotiations  are  now  in  progress  by  which  a  large  silk  mill,  a  ma- 
chine shop,  a  woolen  factory,  a  foundry,  and  a  brickyard  will  all  be 
started  here  in  1893. 

The  Dolgeville  Coal  Company  was  started  in  1892  with  a  cash  capital 
of  $20,000.  It  has  built  large  coal  sheds,  with  all  the  latest  appliances, 
near  the  terminus  of  the  Dolgeville  Railroad. 

The  Dolgeville  Electric  Liglit  and  Power  Company  was  organized  in 
1 89 1  with  a  cash  capital  of  $25,000.  At  its  first  annual  meeting  it 
declared  a  dividend  of  six  per  cent. 

Wheeler  Knapp  carries  on  a  steam  saw  and  planing- mill,  which  he 
built  in  1885;  it  was  burned  in  1886,  and  rebuilt.  There  is  also  a 
cheese  factory  located  here. 

The  Methodist  Episcopal  church  at  Brockett's  Bridge  was  organized 
in  181 1,  and  a  church  edifice  was  built  in  the  same  year  on  grounds 
donated  by  John  D.  Spofford.  It  was  a  frame  structure  and  for  many 
years  was  used  as  a  Masonic  Temple  and  Good  Templars'  Hall ;  it  is 
now  in  use  as  a  barn.  In  1841  a  brick  church  was  erected  here  by  the 
Christian  denomination  and  used  by  them  about  twenty  years,  when 
the  Methodist  society  purchased  it.  The  present  pastor  is  Rev.  Will- 
iam Watson.  A  Free  church  was  erected  in  1856,  through  the  efforts 
of  abolitionists ;  it  is  now  in  use  as  a  skating  rink.  An  Episcopal 
chapel  was  organized  in  1 89 1,  and  recently  a  handsome  church  was 
built  on  Dolge  avenue.  A  Universalist  society  was  organized  in  1892 
and  is  in  flourishing  condition.  Roman  Catholic  services  are  held  here 
at  intervals,  and  the  members  of  that  church  purpose  the  erection  of  a 
chapel  in  the  near  future.     There  are  now  located  at   Dolgeville   ten 


340  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

general  merchandise  and  grocery  stores,  a  bank,  four  butcher  shops, 
one  firm  of  contractors,  two  hardware  stores,  one  dry  goods  store,  two 
boot  and  shoe  stores,  one  grist-mill,  one  feed  store,  two  watchmakers, 
three  insurance  agents,  two  civil  engineers,  three  physicians,  two  den- 
tists, one  lawyer,  two  blacksmith  shops,  four  hotels,  seven  saloons  and 
liquor  stores  and  two  bottling  establishments. 

The  opening  of  the  railroad  between  Little  Falls  and  DolgeviJle  in 
the  winter  of  1892  has  given  a  new  impetus  to  the  rapid  development 
of  the  little  village,  and  with  the  new  enterprises  which  have  recently 
been  started  will  undoubtedly  largely  increase  its  population.  The  road 
has  been  in  course  of  construction  for  the  last  three  years  and  cost 
nearly  a  half  million  of  dollars.  By  it  Dolgeville  has  direct  communi- 
cation with  New  York,  Boston  and  Chicago. 

Perhaps  the  feature  of  life  at  Dolgeville  which  has  most  attracted 
general  public  attention  to  it  is  the  "  Earning  Sharing"  system,  which 
Mr.  Dolge  has  had  in  operation  with  his  employees  for  the  last  sixteen 
years.  This  sj'stem  comprises  an  insurance  plan  and  endowment  fund, 
a  pension  fund  and  is  supplemented  by  a  sick  fund  and  mutual  aid  so- 
ciety. By  the  insurance  plan  employees  after  each  five,  ten  and  fifteen 
years  of  consecutive  service,  get  a  policy  of  insurance  for  $i,ooo.  The 
firm  pays  the  premiums.  The  amount  of  insurance  carried  by  the  firm 
for  its  employees  was  in  December,  1892,  over  $200,000. 

By  the  pension  plan  employees  after  various  terms  of  service  can  re- 
tire on  from  forty  to  one  hundred  per  cent,  of  the  wages  earned  the  last 
year  of  their  service. 

By  the  endowment  fund  employees  are  annually  credited  with  their 
share  of  all  money  earned  by  them  over  and  above  their  wages  by 
superior  skill,  acuracy  or  the  invention  of  new  machinery  or  improve- 
ments. This  sum  draws  six  per  cent,  interest  and  is  paid  them  when 
sixty  years  of  age,  or  to  their  families  at  their  death. 

In  his  various  plans  for  the  welfare  of  his  employees  Mr.  Dolge  has 
already  expended  over  a  quarter  of  a  million  dollars. 

The  story  of  Dolgeville  is  a  romance.  That  out  of  a  forlorn  little 
settlement  of  scarcely  300  souls  on  the  verge  of  the  great  Adirondack 
wilderness  a  prosperous,  intelligent  and  law  abiding  community  of  over 
2,000  persons,  with  leading  industries,  excellent  schools,  a  widely  read 


TOWN  OF  MANHEIM.  34l 

newspaper,  a  railroad,  have  all  been  built  up  within  a  few  years  in  the 
face  of  tlie  most  tremendous  obstacles,  by  a  young  German  who  landed 
in  this  country  without  a  dollar  and  ignorant  of  our  language,  is  surely 
something  of  which  Herkimer  county,  and  indeed  the  State  of  New 
York,  can  be  proud.  Dolgeville  has  been  the  life  work  of  one  broad 
minded,  public  spirited  man  of  ceaseless  energy,  vast  enterprise  and 
most  indomitable  industry.  Tliat  he  was  aided  by  many  others  firm 
of  purpose,  strong  in  character  and  distinguished  in  ability,  is  undoubt- 
ed, but  it  was  the  conspicuous  qualities  that  made  Alfred  Dolge  a 
born  leader  of  men,  that  attracted  such  men  to  him,  enlisted  their 
sympathy,  aroused  their  enthusiasm  and  bound  them  to  him  with 
something  more  than  the  ordinary  bond  of  self-interest  and  personal 
advancement. 

Ingham's  Mills. — This  small  village  is  situated  on  East  Canada  Creek, 
near  the  southwestern  part  of  the  town.  The  first  improvements  made 
at  this  point  were  by  Colonel  William  Feeter,  who  built  a  saw  and  grist- 
mill about  the  year  1802  The  grist-mill  is  still  standing  and  in  oper- 
ation, and  is  one  of  the  oldest  mills  in  the  county.  Adam  Feeter,  son 
of  William,  settled  here  also,  and  took  the  mills  after  his  father.  Alonzo 
Ingham  settled  here  in  1808,  and  built  a  carding  and  cloth-dressing 
mill  adjoining  the  grist-mill.  Harvey  Ingham  came  here  in  1820,  and 
from  him  the  place  takes  its  name.  The  first  store  was  kept  by  Thomp- 
son &  McAllister  in  1818.  In  1842  Samuel  Sadler  came  to  the  place 
and  bought  the  mills  of  H.  H.  Ingham,  and  from  him  the  grist  mill 
passed  into  possession  of  his  son,  J.  D.  Sadler,  who  now  runs  it,  and 
also  a  store.  The  carding-mill  was  changed  to  a  cider-mill.  An  oil- 
mill  for  the  manufacture  of  linseed  oil  was  conducted  by  Ezra  and 
Howard  Sampson,  and  later  by  D.  S.  Ingham.  The  saw- mill  was 
changed  to  a  cheese-box  factory  and  is  now  operated  by  J.  B.  Sadler, 
who  also  keeps  a  hotel.  The  wood  bridge  here  was  built  by  Calvin 
Ransom  in  1829,  and  the  iron  bridge  in  1889.  The  post-office  was  es- 
tablished in  1862,  with  Erastus  Ingham  as  postmaster;  the  present 
postmaster  is  Merril  Guile. 

A  Baptist  society  was  organized  here  in  181 8,  and  Rev.  Augustus 
Beach  was  the  first  pastor.  Meetings  were  held  in  the  school-house 
near  by,  and  over  in  Oppenheim,   until    1841,  when   the   present  stone 


342  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

church  was  erected.  On  the  lOth  of  January,  1842,  a  society  was  reg- 
ularly incorporated,  with  the  following  trustees  :  Nathan  Brown,  Joseph 
Hewett,  John  P.  Claus,  George  S.  Allen,  Leonard  L.  Bauder,  Harvey 
Ingham,  David  Snell,  Henry  Shaul,  and  Stephen  Bowen.  The  church 
has  always  maintained  services  with  reasonable  regularity.  Rev.  J.  G. 
Guller  is  the  present  pastor. 

In  1856  a  Methodist  society  built  a  church  in  district  No.  5,  and 
irregular  preaching  has  been  kept  up. 

Several  years  previous  to  the  Revolution  Sufifrenus,  Peter,  Joseph  and 
Jacob  Snell,  of  Snell's  Bush,  made  a  donation  of  seven  acres  of  land  for 
a  church  lot  and  twelve  acres  for  school  purposes.  A  church  was  built 
there  and  burned  in  the  Revolution,  but  was  afterwards  rebuilt.  It 
stood  until  1 850,  when  it  was  taken  down  and  the  present  edifice  erected  ; 
it  is  known  as  the  Reformed  Dutch  church.  The  school- house  in  that 
district  occupies  the  school  lot,  but  eleven  and  one  half  acres  of  the  lat- 
ter were  transferred  by  the  Legislature  to  the  church.  Rev.  Caleb  Alex- 
ander made  a  missionary  tour  through  the  county  in  1801,  and  wrote: 
"  Between  F"airfield  and  Little  Falls  is  a  Dutch  settlement  called  Man- 
heim  ;   rich  farms,  a  meeting-house  and  a  minister." 

On  September  i,  1821,  a  religious  society  was  incorporated  at  Rem- 
ensneider's  Bush,  under  the  name  of  the  German  Evangelical  Society 
of  the  County  of  Herkimer.  In  1822  a  frame  church  was  built  on  six 
acres  of  land  donated  by  persons  of  the  Lutheran  and  Reformed  denom- 
inations. Rev.  John  P.  Spinner  was  pastor  of  this  society  at  the  time 
of  its  organization.  The  name  of  the  society  was  changed  in  1847  to 
the  Dutch  Reformed  and  Lutheran  Union  Church.  The  building  was 
remodeled  and  improved  in  1853. 


TOWN  OF  DANUBE.  343 


CHAPTER  XVI. 
THE   TOWN   OF   DANUBE. 

THE  town  of  Danube  was  not  formed  until  April  17,  1817,  previous 
to  which  time  it  was  a  part  of  the  town  of  Minden,  Montgomery 
county;  but  it  was  settled  almost  as  early  as  any  part  of  Herkimer 
county.  Previous  to  March  18,  i82S,it  embraced  what  is  now  the  town 
of  Stark.  It  is  bounded  on  the  north  by  the  Mohawk  River  ;  on  the  east 
by  the  town  of  Minden,  Montgomery  county  ;  on  the  south  by  Stark, 
and  on  tlie  west  by  Little  Falls.  Along  its  northern  border  are  the  river 
flats,  but  the  central  and  southern  parts  are  hilly,  rising  from  400  to  800 
feet  above  the  Mohawk,  and  broken  by  ravines  on  both  sides  of  Nowa- 
daga  Creek.  The  soil  in  the  northern  part  is  a  gravelly  loam,  inclining 
to  sandy  loam  in  the  southern  parts.  It  is  well  adapted  to  grazing. 
Nowadaga  Creek  is  the  principal  stream,  and  flows  across  the  town  in  a 
northeasterly  direction,  with  a  rapid  fall.  Loyal  Creek  and  other  small 
streams  are  tributary  to  it.  There  are  several  springs  in  the  town  that 
are  impregnated  with  sulphur.  The  town  embraces  nearly  the  whole 
of  Lindsay's  patent  and  parts  of  Vrooman's,  Colden's,  Van  Home's, 
and  Lansing's  patents,  with  small  portions  of  Fall  Hill,  Vaughn's,  and 
L'Hommedieu's  patents. 

The  town  will  always  be  memorable  in  history  as  containing  the  site 
of  the  upper  Mohawk  Indian  Castle,  the  home  of  the  celebrated  Mo- 
hawk chief,  King  Hendrick,  and  the  home  and  tomb  of  General  Nich- 
olas Herkimer.  The  site  of  the  Castle  was  just  east  of  the  Nowadaga 
Creek,  a  little  distance  from  the  river,  and  near  where  the  old  Castle 
church  now  Stands.^  Hendrick's  residence  stood  upon  elevated  ground 
immediately  in  the  rear  of  the  site  of  the  residence  now  occupied  by 
Willis  L.  Greene,  opposite  the  Castle  church. 

'  The  followinK  description  of  the  fort  was  written  in  175S ;  "  It  is  a  square  of  four  bastions,  of 
upright  pickets,  joined  together  with  lintels.  They  are  fifteen  feet  high,  about  one  foot  square, 
with  port  holes  inserted  from  distance  to  distance,  with  a  stage  all  round  to  fire  from.  The  tort  is 
one  hundred  paces  on  each  side.  It  is  surrounded  with  a  ditch.  There  are  some  small  pieces  of 
cannon  at  each  of  its  bastions,  and  a  house  at  each  curtain  to  serve  as  a  store  and  barrack.  Five 
or  six  families  of  Mohawk  Indians  reside  at  the  fort." 


HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 


The  Indian  Castle  church  is  one  of  three  mission  churches  built  sev- 
eral years  previous  to  the  Revolution  under  the  auspices  of  Sir  William 
Johnson.  It  was  built  in  1769.  In  1772  Sir  William  speaks  of  having 
erected  a  church  at  his  own  expense  at  "  the  Canajoharies  "  (alluding 
to  this  church),  and  laments  that  it  is  in  great  measure  useless,  in  con- 
sequence of  his  not  being  able  to  secure  a  missionary  for  it.  The  build- 
ing is  still  standing  and  used  for  a  church,  with  the  original  bell  in  the 
steeple,  and  is  one  of  the  most  interesting  historical  structures  in  the 
county.  When  first  built  it  stood  sidewise  to  the  road  ;  but  about  1830 
the  old  boards  were  torn  off  and  replaced  with  new ;  a  new  roof  was 
put  on,  the  steeple  slightly  changed,  and  some  interior  alterations  made, 
and  in  1856  it  was  turned  round  to  its  present  position,  and  altered  and 
improved  at  a  cost  of  about  $1,600. 

General  Herkimer's  residence  is  situated  about  two  and  and  a  half 
miles  east  of  Little  Falls,  south  of  the  river,  near  the  canal,  and  within  a 
few  feet  of  the  West  Shore  railroad.  Built  of  brick  imported  from  Hol- 
land about  the  year  1764,  it 
is  a  large  substantial  edifice 
for  its  time  and  cost  about 
$8,000  There  is  a  secret 
underground  passage  con- 
necting with  a  stone  powder- 
house  near-b)',  which  is  used 
at  the  present  time  for  storing 
vegetables.  Its  original  ex- 
ternal appearance  remains  as 
at  first,  but  the  interior  has 
been  considerably  changed. 
After  the  death  of  General 
HerJcinier  it  came  into  pos- 
session of  George  Herkimer, 
who  occupied  it  until  his 
death  in  1786.  He  left  seven  children,  who  inherited  the  estate,  the 
mansion  falling  to  John  Herkimer,  who  resided  there  until  about  18 14, 
when  he  transferred  it  to  other  hands.  It  is  now  in  the  possession  of 
Mrs.  Gertrude  Bidleman  Garlock,  and  occupied  by  a  tenant.     General 


The  Ge.neral  Herkimek  Homesik.^u. 


TOWN  OF  DANUBE.  345 

Herkimer  was  buried  on  a  knoll  a  short  distance  southeast  of  his  resi- 
dence. Steps  were  taken  in  1777  by  Congress  to  have  a  monument 
erected  over  the  grave,  but  it  is  a  melancholy  fact  that  until  1847,  no 
stone  marked  the  brave  soldier's  resting  place.  A  plain  marble  slab 
was  then  put  up  by  the  late  Warren  Herkimer,  bearing  the  following 
inscription  : 

General 

Nicholas  Herkimer, 

died 

Aug.  17,  1777, 

Ten  days  after  the  battle  of  Oriskany,  in  which  engagement  he 

received  wounds  which  caused  his  death. 

At  the  time  of  the  division  of  this  town,  March  18,  1828,  Daniel  Van 
Home  was  supervisor.  The  records  of  the  town  previous  to  that  date 
are  not  accessible  The  first  (special)  town  meeting  for  the  reorganiza- 
tion of  Danube  was  held  on  the  22d  of  April,  1828,  at  the  house  of 
Charles  Pomeroy,  and  the  following  officers  were  elected  : 

Supervisor,  Dr.  John  Helmer ;  town  clerk,  Benjamin  Klock  ;  assessors,  Louis  Reed, 
Henrj'  C.  Cronkhite;  over.seer  of  poor,  George  Dominick ;  commissioner  of  highways, 
William  Bush;  school  commissioner,  Daniel  Bellinger;  inspectors  of  schools,  Ralph 
Simms,  Henry  Perry ;  constables,  Henrj' Hardendorf,  Nathan  P.Wilcox,  Joseph  M. 
Thompson ;  collector,  George  N.  Schuyler. 

Following  is  a  list  of  supervisors  of  this  town,  with  date  of  their  in- 
cumbency : 

John  Holmes,  1828,  1838;  Henry  Moyer,  1829,1834;  John  Harder,  1830;  Asa  Wil- 
ou...  1831,  1844;  Daniel  Bellinger,  1832,  1852  ;  John  Riohtmeyer,  1833  ;  Ralph  Simms, 
1835;  Nicholas  Schuyler.  1836;  Thomas  I.  Mesick,  1837;  Abrara  Snyder,  1839; 
Philip  Jone.=,  1840,  1853.1854;  Blias  Fink,  1841;  Caleb  Eosboth,  1842;  John  Harder, 
jr.,  1843;  John  Shull,  1845;  Peter  P.  Smith,  1846;  Abraham  Owen,  1847;  Henry 
Houpt,  1848,  1860-61;  John  A.  Holmes,  1849;  David  Johnson,  1850-51;  William 
Davy,  1855;  John  Smith,  1856,  1863,  1864;  P.  Henry  Miller,  1857;  Henry  Miller, 
1858-59 ;  Jacob  Walter,  1802 ;  John  J.  Ostrander,  1805 ;  Levenus  Devendorf,  1866-67 ; 
Calvin  Harder,  1868-69;  Alexander  Fox,  1870;  Luther  Dillenback,  1871  ;  Stephen  G. 
Spoor,  1872,  1873;  Alvin  Decker,  1874-75;  Daniel  Cronkhite,  1876-77;  Edwin 
Dpfkor,  1878,  1879;  John  M.  Gardinier.  1880;  S;.nt"ord  John.son,  1881-84;  L  H. 
Scelx-r,  1885.  1886;  E.  V.  Decker,  1887,  1888;  Felix  Schuyler,  1889,  1890;  William 
Tibbitt.'^,  1891,  1892. 

The  men  above  mentioned  were  chiefly  early  settlers,  and  the  accom- 
panying list  of  supervisors  contains  the  names  of  many  others   who  in 


346  HISTORY  OF  HERKIMER  COUNTY. 

the  past  were  more  or  less  conpicuous  in  the  affairs  of  the  town.  Peter 
P.  Smith  is  still  living  at  the  age  of  ninety- two  years.  John  A.  Holmes, 
supervisor  in  1849,  "'^s  a  fanner  at  the  Castle,  as  was  his  father  in  earlier 
years. 

The  first  settlers  in  the  town  were  German  Palatines,  who  located  on 
the  flats  along  the  river.  These  settlements  were  considerably  broken 
up  during  the  Revolution,  and  very  little  is  known  in  detail  of  the 
prisoners.  Cornelius  Van  Alstine  came  in  very  earlj'  and  kept  the  first 
tavern  in  1795,  and  Peter  Smith  opened  a  store  at  about  the  same  time. 
The  first  grist-mill  was  near  the  mouth  of  Nowadaga  Creek  on  the  east 
side,  and  was  erected  by  Andrew  Nellis  in  1800.  The  first  settlers  in 
the  vicinity  of  Newville  were  Nathan  Wilcox  and  his  brother  Isaiah, who 
came  from  Connecticut  about  1793  and  located  where  the  hamlet  is  now 
situated.  The  next  settler  in  the  southern  part  was  a  German  named 
Martin  Siver,  who  located  about  two  miles  south  of  Wilcox,  near 
the  place  now  occupied  by  R.  M.  Pickard.  John  Harder  came  from 
Columbia  county  to  this  town  about  1797,  and  settled  on  the  farm 
now  owned  by  S.  G.  Spoor,  south  of  Newville  ;  he  died  in  1866  and 
has  descendants  in  the  town.  William  Ostrander  was  an  early  settler 
in  the  southeastern  part;  he  came  in  1801  and  located  on  the  farm 
now  occupied  by  his  grandson,  William.  He  kept  a  public  house  on 
that  farm  for  several  years  previous  to  182S,  and  continued  his  residence 
there  until  his  death  in  1847.  Cornelius  Delong  settled  early  on  the 
farm  now  occupied  by  his  great-grandson,  C.  E.  Delong.  Thomas  I. 
Mesick  came  from  Columbia  county  in  1818  and  settled  on  the  farm 
now  occupied  by  his  son  Henry,  where  he  resided  until  his  death  in 
March,  1868.     He  was  a  captain  in  the  war  of  1812. 

Edward  Simms,  son  of  Ralph  Simms,  who  was  clerk  of  the  county  at 
one  time,  was  born  in  this  town,  where  he  resided  many  years.  He 
removed  a  few  years  since  to  the  town  of  Manheim.  Anson  Harder, 
now  a  practicing  lawyer  in  Jefferson  county,  was  also  born  in  this  town. 

The  town  of  Danube  is  now  largely  a  dairy  community,  there  being 
five  factories  in  operation  at  the  present  time.  Many  of  the  farms  will 
compare  favorably  in  production,  buildings,  etc.,  with  an\-  in  the 
county.  Tliere  is  very  little  manufacturing  or  mercantile  business  now 
carried  on.     The  only  village  is  Newville,  which  is  situated  about  four 


TOWN  OF  DANUBE.  347 

miles  from  the  Mohawk  River,  on  the  Novvadaga  Creek,  at  the  foot  of 
Ostrander  Hill.  The  post-office  was  established  about  1827,  with  Ben- 
jamin Klock  as  postmaster.  The  present  postmaster  is  Silas  W.  Wright. 
The  settlement  of  the  two  Wilcox  brothers  at  this  point  has  already 
been  noticed.  Samuel  Houpt  came  from  Pennsylvania  in  1804  and  in 
the  same  year  erected  a  grist-mill  on  the  west  side  of  the  creek.  He 
soon  afterward  built  and  operated  a  fulling  and  carding-mill  here. 
Andrew  Carpenter  built  about  the  year  1805  a  small  tannery,  which 
stood  on  the  site  of  the  hotel,  now  the  dwelling  of  F.  F.  Lewis.  The 
first  blacksmith  was  John  McMullin,  who  began  business  about  1806. 
The  first  store  was  built  and  kept  by  Andrew  Oothout,  and  it  stood 
near  the  present  residence  of  David  Harrad.  Other  early  merchants 
were  Henry  Lieber  and  Henry  Gross.  The  latter  also  carried  on  a 
small  distillery  here  and  a  tannery.  All  of  these  have  disappeared. 
Mr.  Lewis  now  operates  the  saw  and  grist  mill  at  Newville.  There  is 
a  station  on  the  West  Shore  Railroad  called  Indian  Castle,  and  a  post- 
office  (Danube)   which  is  in  charge  of  Mrs.  Abbie  Smith. 

The  first  school-house  was  of  logs  and  was  built  about  1798  on  the 
farm  recently  occupied  by  Alvin  Decker.  It  was  burned  in  1806  and 
a  frame  house  built  soon  afterwards.  There  are  now  nine  school  dis- 
tricts in  the  town  and  two  parts  of  districts,  with  nine  school-houses. 

A  Methodist  society  formerly  existed  at  the  Castle  and  held  meet- 
ings in  the  Castle  church,  but  it  became  extinct  about  1840.  A  Dutch 
Reformed  society  was  organized  there  in  i860  and  for  about  fifteen 
years  kept  up  its  services  with  commendable  regularity,  but  it  has 
nearly  died  out.  The  Union  church  at  Newville  was  erected  in  1835 
by  the  Lutheran,  Baptist  and  Universalist  societies.  In  1867  it  under- 
went thorough  repair  and  received  a  new  bell  and  an  organ.  The  Bap- 
tist and  Lutheran  societies  are  extinct.  The  Evangelical  Lutheran 
church  of  Newville  was  organized  in  the  school-house  by  Rev.  Lam- 
bert Swackhamer,  of  Manheim,  in  July,  1834,  with  eight  male  mem- 
bers. Among  the  pastors  who  have  served  the  church  are  Mr.  Swack- 
hamer, J.  D.  Lambert,  Sufirenus  Oltman,  Nicholas  Van  Alstine,  M. 
W.  Empie,  Conrad  Ochampaugh,  and  James  H.  Weaver.  The  society 
is  small.  A  Dutch  Reformed  church  once  existed  in  the  southern  part 
ol  tiie  town,  which  was  probably  organized  as  early  as  1816.  There 
are  no  records  of  its  life  in  existence. 


348  HISTORY  OF  nERKIMER  COUNTY. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 
THE   TOWN   OF   STARK. 


T' 


'HIS  is  the  southeastern  town  of  Herkimer  county  and,  with  one 
exception,  the  latest  one  organized,  the  date  being  March  18, 
1828,  when  it  was  taken  from  Danube.  It  contains  parts  of  Hender- 
son's. L'Hommedieu's,  Vaughn's,  McNeil's,  J.  Vrooman's,  Coldcn's,  Liv- 
ingston's and  Lansing's  patents.  The  town  derived  its  name  from 
General  Stark,  of  Revolutionary  fame.  In  1868  there  were  taken  from 
Little  Falls  and  added  to  this  town  1,600  acres,  and  in  1869  300  acres 
were  taken  from  Warren  and  added  to  it.  The  soil  is  a  clay  loam, 
fertile  and  well  adapted  to  dairying  and  the  raising  of  grain. 

The  town  of  Stark  is  somewhat  noted  for  its  unusual  natural  features. 
Its  surface  is  hilly  and  broken  and  the  Otsquago  Creek  flows  between 
high  banks  across  the  town  in  a  northeasterly  direction.  It  has  its 
headwaters  in  the  vicinity  of  Van  Hornesville,  940  feet  above  the  Mo- 
hawk at  Fort  Plain,  where  it  empties  into  that  river.  This  great  fall 
has  in  past  years  furnished  excellent  water-power  for  many  mills  of 
various  kinds.  Marble  of  fair  quality  has  been  quarried  near  Smith's 
Corners,  in  the  northern  part.